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It’s a ‘G’ Thing: Long Island kid-driven nonprofit raises money and collects donations to help animal shelters around the world

You can't get much cuter than kids and animals!

“Do you like dogs more than people?" I asked Sean Martin. "Absolutely!" he smiled. “Animals need a voice and kids can be that voice.”

dog1

Sean Martin and the dog who inspired him to start 'Kids Adopt a Shelter'

It's the simple mission of a Long Island non-profit Sean Martin founded five years ago.

“I was 11 years old and I had a dog that I grew up with and he passed away," he explained. "He had a big toy bin that he would sleep in and I wanted to donate everything to a shelter.”

That's when he realized most shelters don't always have what they need.

“I just wanted to donate to dogs and cats that needed help," Martin said.

So he created Kids Adopt a Shelter and quickly gained a team of children ready and willing to pitch in.

“What are you gonna do today with the dogs? " I asked Lorenzo, one of the kids. "Take care of them,” he replied.

“I know it's for a good cause," Damien, one of the child volunteers, described. "I know that helping dogs and cats is a lot more important sitting there on my video games.”

Web extra: Other volunteers talk about why they love being part of Kids Adopt a Shelter

“I think it’s fantastic, I think children are the future of animal rescue,” Loretta Rinaldo said.

Loretta Rinaldo runs 'Forgotten Friends' and says she owes a lot to these little ones.

“When we are in need of assistance with supplies, such as food, cleaning supplies or toys for the animals, they come to our help,” she said.

KAS Fashion Show 2016

This is just one of t he nearly 200 shelters they've helped around the world.

“We’ve been in pretty much every state,” Martin said. “We had two in New Zealand, one in England and one or two in another country, depending on the time.”

An army, proven to be a real force for good in their communities.

“The goal is to have all dogs and cats in shelters adopted, which is a big goal, I know," Martin smiled. "Another goal is to have kill shelters not be kill shelters anymore.”

And one way they've inched closer to that goal is through their annual Fashion Show, which you can attend this Saturday, at the Massapequa PETCO, from 10am-5pm.

"When you see a little dog this big in a cute little outfit, I mean come on you can’t say no," Martin said. "Last year we had 26 dogs adopted that day and couple cats and dogs adopted afterwards.”

Sean knows there's still much to be done, but believes his crew of kids is making a big difference.

"It feels like my dream and my goal and my passion are slowly happening,” he smiled.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi