There is no animal advocate more passionate than Emma, who, while battling cancer, didn’t want gifts or support for herself – rather she wanted to help as many dogs in need as possible.
Emma was diagnosed with a DIPG brain tumor in early 2019, meaning her brain stem was affected. Following a long, 10-month battle with the aggressive form of cancer, she, unfortunately passed away in the arms of her parents.
Within days of her January diagnosis, family and friends were sending her pictures and letters from their dogs in an effort to lift her spirits. Following the ripple effect and social media, Emma was soon inundated with photos and letters from thousands of dogs and their families.
It didn’t take long for Emma’s love of dogs to go viral. And, it quickly turned out that people around the world wanted to come together for her.
The first big act of kindness for Emma came from the police officers in her hometown who arranged for their K9 officers in the surrounding cities to come to Emma’s neighborhood and line the streets in order to give her a special canine parade.
As a canine handler, Shawn Fritsch recalled, “She had just a huge smile, it was just important for me to see this girl smile and brighten up her day when I know she’s fighting so hard.”
In the following months, Emma received multiple visits from the K9 officers, as well as continued to receive photos and letters of support. There were even donations to animal shelters by people who were inspired to donate in her honor. Emma even received the pleasure of being a guest veterinarian for a day at a local animal clinic.
As much as Emma loved receiving all the love and support from dogs that she could ever want, she also wanted to find a way to help dogs around the world. With the caring support of her family and friends, Emma was able to create the Emma Loves Dogs Foundation.
The foundation’s mission is quite simple: provide financial assistance to organizations that share Emma’s passion for helping animals, including police K9 units, no-kill animal shelters, and many more. Thanks to Emma, there are plenty of organizations that are receiving continued funding needed in order to help save the dogs that Emma cared about so much.
Not long before Emma passed away, comments from around the world were flooding her Facebook page, which was filled with photos of dogs sending their love, words of encouragement from other families – all evidence that this young girl was making a deep impact in the animal community.
As Emma’s mother stated, “We remind Emma how much she is loved all the time. Reading your comments, from all over the world, to her while we lay in bed bring us all comfort.”
Emma’s vision to create a better world for dogs is proving to be something wonderful that will undoubtedly carry on a legacy for years to come. We can’t imagine the pain this extraordinary young girl’s family must be experiencing during this very sad time.
If you would like to donate to the cause in honor of Emma’s memory, you can click here.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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