Colorado 9-Year-Old Organizers a Pet Drive for Christmas

The only thing Milly wants for Christmas is to make every pet feel loved.

Dec 21, 2023


Pet, Kindness
Colorado 9-Year-Old Organizers a Pet Drive for Christmas | The only thing Milly wants for Christmas is to make every pet feel loved.

Pets and kids who grow up together have very close bonds. This is especially true in the case of 9 -year-old Milly Kukuczka, who’s beloved border collie mix Bella, passed away shortly before Christmas in 2022. The Highlands Ranch Colorado girl was heartbroken but she turned her grief into a labor of love for shelter animals.

This year, when Milly’s parents asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she went to her room to prepare her list, according to USA Today. But instead of a Christmas list of toys for herself, Millie gave her parents a flier she made for a pet drive to collect toys and treats for pets without forever homes. Milly told USA Today that all she wanted was to hold a pet drive, “so all pets could have a toy for Christmas.”

Losing Bella
The Kukuczka family adopted Bella before Milly was born. The dog was Milly’s protector and her best friend. “We've been through everything with her and then when Millie was born, Bella kind of just protected her,” Milly’s mom Ashley Kukuczka said.

“They were always side by side doing everything together. Everything she did, she wanted to do with Bella – go down the slide at the playground, go for walks, she has always been right by our side.”

Bella was diagnosed with cancer around a year before she passed. It was difficult for the entire family, especially for Milly. Now,this young girl wants to keep her love for Bella alive by helping other pets.

The pet drive
Milly’s parents were all onboard to help their daughter organize the pet drive, reported CBS News. They reached out to the Dumb Friends League in Denver – where the family adopted their cats – and shared the pet drive on social media.

"We've partnered with our gym and with her school, we've set boxes up there. I'm collecting some at my work, my husband's collecting some at his work," Kukuczka told CBS News. The response was very generous.

“There's like 50 toys in there already. We have boxes of treats and cat scratchers. I think there's five or six dog beds already," said Kukuczka.

Milly is serving as the pet Santa and she will deliver the donations to shelter animals at the Dumb Friends League just in time for Christmas.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.