OKC 8-Year-Old Chooses Giving Over Gifts On Birthday

Friday, January 22nd 2021, 7:55 pm
By: Brian Mueller


It can feel like a dog-eat-dog world out there sometimes. 

So, let 8-year-old Leo remind you that there’s still plenty of puppy love in it too. 

“My love for animals comes from my heart," said Leo Vleugels of Oklahoma City. 

Leo and his family have been fostering animals for years, so when Leo’s birthday came around, he decided instead of presents for himself, he wanted gifts for the animals at the Oklahoma Humane Society in Nichols Hills. 

He started a fundraiser and on Saturday donated a paw-purri of gifts, including a new dryer. 

“Him to give up his birthday gifts, I’m just so proud," said Leo's mother Cynthia. 

As part of his fundraiser, Leo even had a birthday parade where he took donations. In the end, Leo raised nearly $800. 

“I wanted to help out the Humane Society because dogs and cats should get lots of love,” said Leo. 

“It proves no matter how old you are or anything, you can make such a big difference, and it just impacts as you grow up," said Destanee Ratley of the Oklahoma Humane Society.

For Leo’s proud mother, she hopes her son’s kindness breeds more good deeds in the future. 

“I did hear one of his friends on the phone going, ‘Why don’t you want presents?’ And he said, ‘Well, I do want presents, but I’m getting presents for the dogs and cats,’ so I’m hoping maybe it will seem less unusual," said Cynthia. 

The Oklahoma Humane Society said they are currently in need of foster families so they can take more animals in during the winter months.