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9-year-old girl organizes a toy drive for animal shelter for the most heart melting reason

In a bid to keep her beloved's dog memory alive organizes a touching gesture for animals living in the shelter.

9-year-old girl organizes a toy drive for animal shelter for the most heart melting reason
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Matheus Bertelli; USA Today | Ashley Kukuczka

A child's connection to their pet is the most wholesome bond in the world. Not only the pets are their best companion, but also the first ones that show them real love. It is with them that they go through emotions like affection, loyalty and care. That is why, when they lose such a source of happiness in their lives, it becomes difficult for them to pass through such a challenging phase. Milly Kukuczka was facing this painful heartbreak when her border collie mix, Bella, took her last breaths after a prolonged fight with cancer, per USA Today. However, the little girl transformed her heartbreak into a bigger purpose with her beautiful gesture.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jenny Uhling
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jenny Uhling

Kukuczka lost Bella around Christmas last year and therefore, her parents wanted to do everything possible to make this year's holiday a bit easier for her. They asked her what she needed on Christmas and the sweet girl handed them a flyer she made for a pet drive. She wanted to spend Christmas giving tribute to her beloved dog by collecting toys for the animals living in a shelter. Kukuczka's mom, Ashley Kukuczka, was proud of her daughter for planning this. "It's been really hard on her over the last year," she said, "So, it's really cool to see it all come together."


Kukuczka wanted to organize this drive so that every pet received some gift on Christmas. She wanted to make a positive impact in the world to honor the memory of her dog. Soon, the family got to work and began collecting toys from friends and family. After CBS shared their story, more people got involved in the cause. Mille shared how the support has grown massively to almost 100 donations in a few days. 

Ashley reached out to The Dumb Friends League, a local shelter where they previously adopted their cats and one of the locations where the toys would find a home will be this local shelter. "She wanted to make sure that every dog that didn't have a home on Christmas had a toy to open if they didn't have a family to be with because that makes her really sad. She feels for animals just as much as humans," Ashley said about her daughter.

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Bella was part of the family before Kukuczka arrived. The pet soon grew fond of the baby and fiercely protected her. "We've been through everything with her and then when Millie was born, Bella kind of just protected her. They were always side by side doing everything together. Everything she did, she wanted to do with Bella – go down the slide at the playground, go for walks, she has always been right by our side," Ashley said.


Bella's cancer diagnosis was a hard pill to swallow for the family. She also was afflicted with an eye infection a year before her passing, which left the sweet pet blind. That year brought Kukuczka close to Bella, as the former came to terms with the fact that the latter would be gone. "We kind of went through the grieving process a year ago and it was just something in her eyes. She ended up losing her eyes. It's like we grieved her loss once and we had a whole other year of life with her and I think that's what really brought Milly close to Bella in that last year – knowing that she might lose her," the mother said.

Milly Kukuczka still feels sad about Bella's passing and wishes the tragedy never happened. But she is more than committed to doing good work on the memory of her dog. "She just wanted the memory of Bella to be known. Every stuffed animal that she gets that looks like Bella, she names it Bella. Everywhere we go she looks for a magnet that looks like Bella or an ornament that looks like Bella. She really wants her memory to live on," the mother said.

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