Want proof that big things can come in small packages?

Meet Tabitha DiMino, an eight-year-old dynamo from Florida with love and energy to spare when it comes to helping animals in distress. She and her parents count six cats and two dogs as part of their family now, but the tales of compassion and rescue don’t end there. Tabitha has always shown empathy and determination beyond her years. As the Good Kid Project’s Good Kid of the Month, she will undoubtedly amaze and inspire us, no matter what age we are.

Her opportunities to help cats have been numerous. Feral cats, hungry or badly-injured cats, and even a pregnant cat have all found a path, one way or another, to the DiMino home. According to her mom, Tabitha is always adamant that they MUST provide whatever the animal needs—food, medical care, fostering, or adoption—and she always gets her way!

Since Tabitha sees each cat as an individual with a distinct personality, she insists that every one who shares their home for any length of time deserves a name. After the naming process, she goes to work socializing the cats, showering them with love and attention so they become more adoptable. At various times, Mittens, Muffin, Lester, Grace, Twilight, Milo, Dandelion, Ollie, and Boo Boo have all experienced Tabitha’s expert care, and most of them now have forever homes.

No animal should be tortured by meanies!

While obviously generous with her love, attention, and time, Tabitha is just as generous with her money! When her family learned that the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) was working to end experimentation on kittens, Tabatha sent the organization all the money she owned—between $6 and $7—to help out. She also wrote them a letter in which she stated emphatically, “No animal should be tortured by meanies!”

But this eight-year-old’s heart has plenty of space for animals of other species, too. She helps turtles cross the road, and with her parents’ help, once rescued a couple of iguanas during an unseasonable cold spell. She has helped rescue injured ducks, and relocated some rats—who she claimed were “sooooooooo cute”—-from their attic to a wildlife area.

Tabitha is proud of all her humanitarian accomplishments, but the “lobster liberation” she attended when she was only six years old was special. Participants donated money toward the lobster purchase, and then gave the crustaceans their freedom in the ocean. Tabitha showed no squeamishness: she held her own lobster (after the tutorial on a safe way to hold it!) and released it, announcing to her mom how happy she was to send it “back to its own family.”

It’s not surprising that this powerhouse of action is also a powerhouse with words: She has openly promoted vegan food during her gymnastics class, and the fact that the teacher later asked Tabitha’s mom for some vegan recipes is a testament to Tabitha’s persuasiveness. And when she found two hamsters fighting in a cage in the pet store, she bravely spoke up to the store employees, informing them that hamsters are solitary animals and should not be together in one cage. She’s a particular fan of hamsters and has done loads of research about them.

It’s true that Tabitha has had the wonderful advantage of compassionate parents who have raised her on a plant-based diet, home-schooled her with animal-friendly books (including We’re All Animals and V is for Vegan), and supported her in her many rescue efforts. But considering all she has done in her eight short years of life, we count Tabitha as one of those who reinvigorates our faith in humanity while we anticipate with optimism all the good she will likely do with the rest of her life.

The animals are lucky to have her compassion and we are lucky to have her example.

Every month we highlight a Good Kid who is helping make the world a kinder place. This is your chance to nominate someone and give them recognition for his or her efforts! Every kid featured will receive a Good Kid Project t-shirt. Nominate someone for Good Kid of the Month

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