In May, her mother, who trains autism service animals, competed for and won a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Program to place service animals, free of charge, to families across the US. Inspired by her own love of animals, (she has been a junior trainer for several years) Abby decided she would apply for a grant of her own to save abused and abandoned from being euthanized. In fact, she believes some of them may have careers as service animals, too.
According to the junior Kaydus, a once non-verbal child, "I did find out by checking, and millions of animals are killed this way every year in our country just because of mean peple who hurt them or don't take care of them. It is even more sad. Some of (the rescued) dogs can become service dogs (all over the United States) for people like me who do have autism and (they will) not have to die for no reason." She goes on to say, "Over 3500 animals were killed by animal control in just one county since I was 12."
The following exerpt is taken directly from her facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/
"Paw Paw's House is my idea for a do-not-kill shelter for abused and abandoned animals.
I am Abby, and I am 16. I do have autism but that doesn't mean I can't do things to help animals and people. I have always loved cats and dogs and it makes me sick when bad things happen to them.
My parents taught me to care for animals back when I was a little kid, and they said they would help me make a place for animals with no homes to come to so they can get well and find very good homes. That is what I want to do. I want sad dogs and cats to be able to come to me so I can make them feel better and trust people again. Then I will find them the best homes they could want. I do know what it feels like when people are mean because sometimes people are mean to me from my autism and tourette's.
Animals love me and I love them. I want to do this more than anything in the world because I am safe with animals and they are safe with me and that can be my job. Some of my older friends have to be in special homes and I don't want to go to one because I can do whatever I try to do if I try it hard enough. I want to have my own job and my own life and not have to live with strangers. I can make my life about the animals I will save from being killed by bad people or the pound and other places.
If you will help me, I promise I will take care of the animals no body wants and I will get them good homes and make them happy. Some of them can even grow up and be service dogs, and I already know how to train dogs, too. Then they won't have to die any more.
Abby says the HBO movie, Temple Grandin, made her realize autism is just something that makes you different, but "different is a good thing 'cause the same is boring." You can support Abby in her quest for a grant to achieve her dreams by voting daily on the Pepsi Refresh Everything site at http://www.refresheverything.com/