At 13 years old, Ashley Mobilia has already made a huge impact on the lives of hundreds of rescue dogs.
When Ashley was eight years old, her mother took her to a no-kill animal shelter in Loxahatchee, Florida called Big Dog Ranch Rescue. It didn't take long for that singular visit to turn into a lifelong passion. The middle school student told the Sun Sentinel:
"The first time I went, I fell in love with volunteering. I started going once or twice a week. My favorite thing to do is sit down and play with the dogs, let them get out of their crates and run around."
The young girl has kept up her volunteering for five years and is now a standout animal advocate with over 400 volunteer hours. She dedicates her time and energy to the shelter and goes beyond everyone's expectations.
Every year for her birthday, Ashley's mom asks the same questions, "What do you want?" And every year, Ashley gives the same answer. She wants her friends and family to donate money and supplies to Big Dog Ranch Rescue. And when Christmas comes around, she says the same thing. In the five years that she's been using her birthday as a reason for people to donate, she's raised an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 for the shelter.
Ashley's birthday always results in a big donation, but the 13-year-old doesn't need a celebration or a holiday to kick her fundraising into high gear. She regularly organizes supply drives at her school and encourages others to follow her lead. She told WPTV:
"I also got some of my friends adopting animals and dogs from here, and I got some of them volunteering here as well. "
She's taken something that most people would call a hobby and turned it into a mission with lasting meaning. When the animal shelter received Ashley's latest birthday donation, they wrote her a tribute letter. In the letter they said:
"It's hard to look at Ashley and not believe angels are real. All of us could learn a great deal from Ashley's selflessness."
When she's not at the shelter, Ashley spends time with her dog, two parrots, and hamster. While her biggest challenge right now is middle school, she already has an idea about what she wants to do when she grows up.
"I'm leaning towards being a vet, but if not, definitely something with animals."
What do you think of this amazing teenager? Tell us in the comments below.
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