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Popovich makes unusual request for fifth birthday

TONAWANDA - When you ask most kids what they want for their birthday you usually get the same request for the latest toys and video games, but a little girl in Tonawanda asked for a different type of gift this year, donations to the local animal shelter.

Instead of bringing gifts to her fifth birthday party, Ariella Popovich requested her guests bring donations for the local animal shelter. As 15 kids filtered into her house for the party, Popovich received gifts of dog food, cat food, treats, toys and other pet supplies.

“Honestly, going through the gift bags of donations was just as exciting to her and I as getting a bunch of gifts, said Popovich’s mom, Jessica.

This wasn’t her first time donating to a great cause. In December, Popovich went with her mom to return pop bottles and used the money to purchase animal treats and supplies to donate to the SPCA.

Their family also takes part in a foster care program for animals, where they take in animals for a few weeks until a good home is found for them. So far, they have fostered a cat, several kittens and a puppy from places such as Diamonds in the Ruff, Buffalo Humane and the SPCA.

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