NEW MADISON — French poet, author, and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once wrote a beloved children’s story, The Little Prince, about a pilot who, upon being stranded in the desert, meets a young prince from another planet. Amid their conversation, the young prince wisely says, “Now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly….”
While it is difficult to make any sense of injustices in the world today, observing this important truth can guide us in our quest to render aid and assistance, especially when the needs are so great.
Indeed, when it comes to helping dogs at the animal shelter, one Darke County boy definitely sees with his heart.
Beckett Bolton, a thoughtful 6-year-old from New Madison, Ohio, was watching a commercial on television that asked for donations to raise money for dogs in need. “I wanted to help all of the doggies that I could,” he said. Beckett asked his parents, Kellan and Stacia Bolton, if he could raise money to buy an entire ‘skid’ of dog food for the Darke County Animal Shelter.
First, instead of receiving gifts for his birthday party, Beckett invited his family and friends to give a donation toward his project. “On my birthday invitation, I asked for people to give money instead of toys for my doggie project.” Beckett said.
Then, Beckett helped his mom and dad around the house, and did yard work outside. “It took a really long time,” said Beckett, “I did chores for family and they paid me. It pretty much took all summer!” The Borderline Club in Greenville also showed their support for young Beckett’s project, putting out a collection jar labeled ‘Beckett’s Dog Food.’
By the end of summer, Beckett had raised over $400 to purchase the ‘skid’ of dog food — 24 bags in all, in addition to some dog treats and extra toys. Keller Feed and Grain of Greenville assisted Beckett with purchasing and loading the bags up for the trip to the Darke County Animal Shelter.
Deputy Warden Mark Johnson was on hand to receive the generous donation. Darke County Animal Shelter Director and Dog Warden Robert Bair shared his thanks by saying, “We are very appreciative of Beckett’s donation. It is very impressive for a six-year-old to donate to an animal shelter!”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year, 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats.
According to Darke County Animal Shelter statistics, in 2019, 539 dogs came through the doors of the shelter, with 299 dogs adopted, 187 dogs redeemed by owners, and 12 dogs transferred. This year, in 2020, 300 dogs have stayed at the shelter, with 174 dog adoptions, and 89 dogs redeemed by their owners. That is good news for Darke County’s Animal Shelter, which has been named a ‘BestFriends.org’ Shelter since 2018.
Perhaps, one day we will all see with our hearts like Beckett Bolton.