A freshman at Dawson County High School wants to make sure Dawsonville's furry population has a merry Christmas this holiday season.
"The holiday season is all about giving, sharing and helping those that are less fortunate," said 14-year-old Shannon Porter.
She believes animals should be included in that giving.
"In a world where so many are truly blessed, my Christmas for Critters charity gives people and businesses the opportunity to do something for our local shelter animals," she said.
Shannon organized Christmas for Critters when she was in sixth grade after realizing there were few charities that focus solely on animals.
"In that moment I knew it was my responsibility to create a Christmas charity for the beings who don't always get as much love as they need...animals," she said.
In addition to raising more than $2,000, Shannon has collected pet food, cat litter, treats, collars, leashes, toys, beds, medicines and cleaning products during the last three years.
Veterinarian Ed Holton, who has a collection box at All Animals Veterinary Hospital, said the donations Shannon has collected have been a tremendous help to the shelter.
"We're so appreciative," he said.
Shannon is now asking for the community's support by placing collection boxes throughout Dawson County.
"My mission is to bring the magic of Christmas not only the animals at the shelter, but the people," she said. "Working with the shelter for so many years, I've realized the struggle they go through everyday trying to provide for the over-populated shelter.
"For all of the work they put in year-round, they deserve to relax during the holiday season."
For more information, call (770) 617-4641, or visit www.facebook.com/ChristmasforCrittersOfficial.