See How This Teen Is Helping Animals in Shelters

Ariela Robinson, 16, is a high school student in Los Angeles and a Girl Scout dedicated to helping animals in shelters. She started a nonprofit group, Reducing Animal Stress, through which she organizes shelter drives, builds foster and adoption kits, and gives presentations to other Girl Scout troops. She also frequently tables at local events, where she promotes adoption, sterilization, and other companion animal needs.

Ariela Robinson Adoption Event Tabling

Ariela also hosts workshops to teach people about the importance of fostering and adoption and how to use common household materials to make enrichment items like toys, food puzzles, and hideaway houses. After the workshops, she collects these items and donates them to local shelters and adoption groups. 

Reducing Animal Stress creates free kits with toys, treats, and supplies to encourage fostering and adoptions.

When asked why this effort is important to her, Ariela told us the following:

“I have visited my local animal shelters many times and each time noticed how sad and bored the animals looked. I’ve always loved animals and wanted to help them. I believe that all animals deserve to live a happy life.”

Every year, millions of dogs, cats, and other companion animals wind up in shelters across the U.S. They may have been homeless, lost, stray, abandoned, or rescued from dangerous situations. Reputable shelters give these animals safety, comfort, and care while keeping them off the streets, where they’d struggle to find food and water and risk being hit by vehicles or attacked. Temporarily housing animals in shelters is much better than leaving them to fight for survival on their own, but it’s still a frightening situation for many of them.

Ariela has donated over 2,000 items to animal shelters and adoption groups, handed out over 50 adoption kits, and hosted six workshops (with more in the works). For her dedication to taking compassionate action to speak up for animals in shelters, peta2 is presenting her with our Hero to Animals Award.

“My favorite part about my project is being able to watch how happy and excited the animals are when we give them our donations and also seeing how appreciative the staff and volunteers are.”

Ariela Robinson

When asked what advice she would give other young people who want to get active for animals in their community, Ariela shared these thoughts:

“Find specific ways to benefit local shelters and [adoption groups] by asking them what they need or what they’re looking for. I also encourage people to come up with creative ways to help the animals in their community. Additionally, assembling a team of volunteers to help with a project is a great way to make a big impact and inspire others. You can get a team together by presenting at schools or having friends help.”

Keep up the amazing work, Ariela! Animals are lucky to have you on their side. 🐱🐶

You Can Be a Hero to Animals, Too

If thinking about animals in shelters makes your heart ache, there are many ways you can help them. You could host a fundraising drive at your school for a local animal shelter, promote sterilization, support the passage of laws that require responsible animal guardianship, or just spread the word about why people should adopt animals, not shop for them.  

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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