Every time Emmy visited the shelter, her heart broke to see Fox. The loving senior dog needed a home soon, or he would be at risk of euthanasia. Then one day, Emmy approached Fox’s cage and stopped in her tracks. The shelter had put a scarf around his neck.
Not many 13-year-olds can claim to have founded an animal rescue group, but Emmy Perry can. What’s more, she isn’t new to the business either. In fact, when Emmy was just seven, she created Emmy’s Hope (EH) – her own non-profit organization.
As volunteers for an animal shelter, Emmy’s parents must have been proud when they discovered she shared their passion. Emmy initially displayed her selflessness by giving her pocket money to homeless animal charities. She even used birthdays as an opportunity to donate to their cause.
Emmy’s dream culminated at Christmas when she sat on Santa’s lap, and he asked her what she wanted. She informed him that she wanted to “to save more dogs.” Emmy’s parents overheard and were so touched that they decided to help her.
Emmy’s drive and determination led to the creation of EH, which focuses on finding shelter dogs forever homes. But Emmy didn’t stop there, and she began volunteering at nearby animal shelters. Both Emmy and her parents work hard to hand-deliver whatever supplies the shelters require.
In addition, the family also get to spend time enjoying the company of the dogs. Emmy revealed this to be one of her favorite parts of charity work. That and watching newly adopted dogs find their forever homes and shower their new humans with kisses.
The thought process is perfectly embodied by EH’s mission statement, “Saving animals one heart at a time.” Emmy’s household is already filled to bursting with animals that she’s personally offered a forever home to. She has five rescue animals living with her.
Unfortunately, working with shelter animals has its downsides, too. Emmy’s mom, Elaine Perry, revealed how the work tests even her daughter’s incredible resolve on occasion. For example, she’s witnessed her daughter sobbing over how many dogs are beyond her help.
Elaine described the moment to People on June 8, 2016. “I told her, ‘Emmy, if you ever get to the point that it’s too hard for you, you can stop.’ And she said, ‘Mommy, if I stop and knew this was still going on, that would make me more sad.’”
Another challenge followed Emmy’s meeting with Fox, a senior shelter dog at the OC Animal Care (OCAC) shelter in Orange County, California. “Fox was an older dog,” Emmy told People. “And usually [shelters] give them a shorter amount of time before they have to be put down.”
Furthermore, senior homeless dogs are harder to adopt out than their more youthful shelter pals. Emmy knew this, but she held out hope for her beloved Fox. “If I saw Fox get adopted, it would make me really happy,” she described.
Emmy said seeing Fox find his forever home would be like “a big stone on her heart” being lifted. So every time she went to the shelter, Emmy visited Fox to see if someone had adopted him. And every time she would find he was still waiting.
But it turns out that more people appreciated Emmy’s work than she realized. In fact, OCAC reached out to Kleenex to show just how much it valued EH’s work. The community also contributed to create an event at the shelter in Emmy’s name.
The celebration was something close to Emmy’s heart – a free adoption day to rehome as many dogs as possible. Emmy had no idea that when she arrived at OCAC that day, she was the guest of honor. Video footage reveals that she couldn’t believe her eyes when she got there.
Emmy told People, “I thought I was going to the shelter to hand out more treats, but then I was very surprised.” But she is further stunned when she goes to check on Fox. That’s because he is wearing a blue scarf around his neck.
The scarf indicated that Emmy’s dream had come true, and someone has adopted Fox. Emmy is so happy, she gives the little dog a big hug. However, there is more good news to come, as the junior animal rescuer found out.
“Fox isn’t the only the dog that will be adopted today,” an OCAC shelter worker informed Emmy. “We’re hoping to adopt all the dogs here in your honor.” At those words, Emmy starts to cry tears of joy, and according to her mom they didn’t stop throughout the celebration.
“Those tears you see are just uncontrollable tears that kept going the whole day,” Elaine informed People. “To see these dogs that she had been networking go home really meant a lot.” At the end of the celebration, 40 dogs found their forever homes.
The adoption event was a massive success, and Emmy is still doing great work with EH today. There’s much to do though, so she’s asked everyone who wants a dog to consider adopting – perhaps from her website, which has a section for dogs in urgent need of a good home.
There you can find dogs dangerously close to euthanasia or those with special living requirements. These adoptions are harder to find homes for, but Emmy says they definitely appreciate it. She told People, “They are very grateful. You can feel that they are grateful for you saving them.”