The Taylor Animal Shelter was the recipient of a $1,000 donation from an unlikely source – 8-year-old Bryson Kliemann, who recently raised thousands of dollars when his story about selling Pokemon cards to save his sick dog went viral.
Bryson and his grandfather, David Cole Jr., met last week with Mayor Rick Sollars and Animal Control Officer Lanny Hall to make the donation. Donations of this type are usually used to defer veterinary costs of animals in the shelter. Bryson’s mother Kimberly lives in Virginia and his father Tyler lives in Taylor, so he often visits here.
The story began when Bruce, the boy’s 4-month-old black lab mix, became ill. Bryson had wanted a dog for years, and when the family found Bruce, the pair became inseparable. Bruce was a playful puppy, but then took ill. He wouldn’t come out of his cage, and was losing weight. The diagnosis was parvo, a contagious virus that can be deadly if left untreated. Bruce needed nearly $700 worth of meds in the first days of treatment, with a bigger bill on the way.
After finding out about situation, Bryson opted to sell his Pokemon card collection. He had hundreds of cards and set up a stand in the front of his father’s home.
Neighbors took interest and word quickly spread. A photo was shared on a local social media page. Bryson’s mom, Kimberly, started a Facebook page. That led to a GoFundMe location. The interest soared and the donations swelled – the boy collected $400 in just two afternoons.
Cole said he’s received messages and support from as far away as China, Australia and Ireland. Stories have appeared in everything from The Washington Post to The News-Herald Newspapers. Bryson has even been invited to the National Dog Show in November. An employee at Pokemon Co. in Seattle read the story and sent him packs of rare cards.
Upon last look, the donations totaled over $20,000.
Bruce is now doing well. Kimberly hopes that the story serves as a warning for all pet owners to get their dogs vaccinated properly.
Editor’s Note: There are a lot of stories out there about Bryson and his dog, Bruce. For just a few, click on the following:
The Washington Post
The News-Herald Newspapers