11-Year-Old Girl on Mission to Save Shelter Animals

"I know what I'm doing is helping," said Emmy Perry. "I saw so many dogs in need of help and homes"

An 11-year-old girl from Southern California has made it her mission to save homeless animals.

When Emmy Perry was 7 years old, she created an organization to do just that, calling it Emmy's Hope.

"I know what I'm doing is helping," said Emmy, who lives in Dana Point. "I saw so many dogs in need of help and homes."

Emmy's mother, Elaine, said that from a very early age, her daughter has proclaimed her love of animals to anyone who would listen.

"After Santa said, 'What would you like for Christmas?' she said, 'I want to save more dogs,'" Elaine Perry said.

Emmy's parents helped her set up a website for Emmy's Hope, where people can donate blankets, food, and clean, comfortable beds for shelter animals.

The young animal crusader is also an actress and singer and donates a portion of the money she earns to animal shelters.

Sondra Berg, community outreach director at Orange County Animal Care, said Emmy's work documenting and spreading the word about animals in need has saved countless lives.

"She's done tremendous things and she's help us move a lot of animals out of here," Berg said.

Shelter workers describe Emmy as having a "special way" with animals that are difficult to adopt, including those that are older, have medical needs or are just plain scared.

"You see some of them that are kind of hesitant in their cages and then she gets in there with them and sits on the ground and it's like they just melt," Berg said.

Four-year-old "Monsieur" is one of Emmy's favorites. But the friendly black-and-white pit bull has yet to be adopted.

"It's hard for me, but I know that for the ones I do save, it makes a difference," Emmy said.

Emmy's mother has asked her daughter if the emotional toll is too much.

"We don't have to continue this if you think you need to take a break, and she said to me, 'Mommy, I would be more sad if knew this was going on and I did nothing,'" Elaine Perry recalled.

Emmy, who might want to be a vet when she grows up, said she'll keep working until all shelters are no-kill shelters. But she knows the only way to do that is to inspire others to help her cause.

Until that day, Emmy has one wish: to adopt each and every one of the animals herself.

"All of them," she said. "Yeah, I would take them all home."

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