Marlinton youth forgoes gifts to help animals

SS Animal Shelter

Looking back at childhood birthdays, the first thing to come to mind might be the gifts and the joy of ripping into them.

One Marlinton girl decided her birthday was a chance to do something for furry little friends in need.

Jaylee Doss, a fourth grade student at Marlinton Elementary School has had an Animal Shelter birthday party for the past three years. Instead of presents, Doss asks her guests to bring donations for the Pocahontas County Animal Shelter.

“I really love animals, and I have a cat named Crazy Daisy, and I love her so much,” Doss said. “I get her treats all the time and I figure there’s these animals out there that don’t have homes and I just wanted to save them.”

At her eighth birthday three years ago, Doss collected pet food and toys, along with $50. The second year, she collected items and $100. This year, her birthday party brought in a large number of toys and food items, and $131 for the shelter.

The first year, a leap year, Doss’ mother, Alicia, suggested that she only do the Animal Shelter party every leap year.

“I said ‘but that’s every four years, I want to do it every year,’” Doss explained. “I have everything I need. I don’t need more.”

Doss said she plans to continue having Animal Shelter themed parties to benefit the animals in Pocahontas County.

Shelter manager Robin Robertson presented Doss with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of her dedication to the animals at the shelter.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at

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