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Katie Burch is collecting pet food donations to support animals at the Aiken County Animal Shelter. Cat and dog food can be dropped off in the buckets placed on her porch.

Katie Burch is only 11 years-old, but she is already striving to make a difference in her community.

Burch, who recently graduated from Aiken Elementary, has been attending a local summer camp. At the camp, a guest speaker told her about the needs of the Aiken County Animal Shelter. 

Burch, who is an animal lover, cared about the pets at the shelter so much she decided to take action to try and improve their lives.

Burch wrote notes about ways people could help reduce intake at the shelter and assist the animals already there. She included information about spaying/neutering pets, pet adoptions and reporting strays in her notes.

These notes were hand-delivered by Burch to nearby homes.

"We're all very proud of Katie," said, Shirley Colburn, Burch's grandmother, in an email. 

In addition to the notes, Burch also started a pet food donation drive for the animal shelter. People can stop by the Burch's residence and drop cat and dog food off in buckets placed on the home's front porch.

"I started this donation drive because I was at a summer camp, and a person from Aiken County Animal Shelter came," Burch said in an email. "She talked to us about it, so I wanted to help, and I love animals, especially dogs."

"This donation drive is to help the Aiken County Animal Shelter by giving them dog and cat food so they can spend that money that they would have spent on food, but instead spending it on something to help more, like pet medicine," she continued.

The Aiken County Animal Shelter took in over 1,100 stray cats and dogs over the past two months. The shelter is facing overcrowding and is often in need of donations of pet food and supplies.

Burch's goal is to collect 100 cans of cat and dog food within four weeks. Her drive will end Tuesday.

Those who wish to donate can drop off pet food at 358 Plantation Drive. 

Although the food drive will end soon, Burch said she is "more than likely" going to continue charitably supporting the shelter in the future.

Kristina Rackley is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard.