Ann Arbor, MI (November 23, 2021) — The future is looking warm and fuzzy, thanks to local youth Isabel Sutton, Oreen Morag and Sydney Bennett. They are the winners of the fourth annual Humane Youth Awards by the Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV).
The Humane Youth Award honors young people who have both personally and through the inspired efforts of others, raised awareness for and helped create a more peaceful life for people, animals and the environment.
Isabel Sutton, 12, of Ann Arbor, is the winner of HSHV’s 2021 Humane Youth Award. In addition to volunteering her time to help cats at HSHV, she also runs her own fundraising enterprise that raises money for local animal welfare organizations. To date, Isabel has successfully fundraised for Starry Skies Equine Rescue, The Bird Center of Washtenaw County, and a feral cat rescue. She has also volunteered to do frog habitat monitoring with Ann Arbor’s NAP.
Oreen Morag, 17, of Ann Arbor, is the Humane Youth Award 1st runner up. As a Junior Volunteer at HSHV, Oreen has spent over 60 hours comforting and making enrichment for the homeless dogs at HSHV. After a school project prompted Oreen to research how to make safe and durable dog toys at home, she decided to produce and sell the toys; the sale profits were donated to HSHV. Additionally, after learning about the concerning decline in bee populations, Oreen helped her family to plant a pollinator friendly garden in their yard.
Sydney Bennett, 12, of Canton, is the 2nd runner up for the Humane Youth Award. Sydney started as a Junior Volunteer at HSHV in May 2021 and has already completed 60 hours of volunteer service. In honor of a school friend, Sydney has also held several dog treat bake sales in order to raise money for a muscular dystrophy organization. Beyond her care for dogs and cats, Sydney also spends several nights a week grooming and caring for horses at a local barn.
“We’re so grateful for these three young people,” says Karen Patterson, VP of Volunteers and Humane Education at HSHV. “Their love of animals certainly runs deep, but that’s only part of the equation. Their compassion and care makes the world better for both humans and animals, and we’re honored to recognize their devotion and excellent work.”