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Youngster uses birthday to help animals at shelter

By Robyn Claridy rclaridy@news-journal.com
Feb. 5, 2012 at 11 p.m.


KILGORE - This year, 9-year-old Jed Compton didn't want any toys or presents for his birthday. Instead, he wanted his friends to bring pet food and supplies to donate to an area rescue shelter.

Dozens of children and parents greeted a trailer full of dogs from the Texas Star Rescue on Sunday afternoon at Interskate of Kilgore to celebrate Jed's ninth birthday.

Jed, a third grader at White Oak Elementary School, said he wanted his friends to see the puppies from the rescue shelter.

"Dogs want to be adopted, they don't just want to be in shelters forever," Jed said.

Jed's mother, Katie Compton, said she wanted his birthday to be something he remembered forever.

"We were going through toys in his room, and I was asking if he remembered who gave him each of them, and he didn't remember," Compton said. "But something like this gives back to the community, and he likes to set an example. I think this is something he'll always remember."

Genia Capps, volunteer with the animal rescue, said she would like to see the shelter doing more birthday parties and teaching more children about taking care of their animals and why the rescue program exists.

"Education has to start young. It's not that people don't care, it's just that they don't understand. I think that you have to be taught young," Capps said.

Angela Young, a rescue program partner, said the shelter stays filled with about 60 animals year round.

"Once a week, sometimes twice, we go through a shelter's kill list to see which ones we can take in," Young said. "We stay full."

Capps said their organization is funded through donations and the money raised through adoptions.

For more information about Texas Star Rescue, visit www.texasstar.petfinder.com or www.facebook.com/texasstarrescue.

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