When a boy turns 9, most would expect him to want toys or video games for his birthday. This wasn’t the case for Creekside Elementary School student Caden Hoagland.

In lieu of presents, Caden requested donations to the Hardin County Animal Shelter at his birthday party Saturday.

David Hoagland, Ca­den’s father, said Ca­den brought up the idea about six months ago.

“I was thinking of all the animals out there that have to be put to sleep and how some don’t get adopted,” Caden said. “So I wanted to replace my presents with dog food and cat food.”

Hoagland said he wasn’t sure if Caden would continue with the idea by the time his birthday came around. To his surprise and delight, Caden requested friends and family bring shelter donations when it came time to send out party invitations.

Caden turned 9 on Feb. 6 and his birthday party was Saturday at Dix-E-Town Lanes in Elizabethtown. Hoagland said about $200 was raised through monetary donations at the party. He said several bags of cat and dog food, cat litter and pet toys also were donated.

“My truck was full and I had it in my backseat as well,” Hoagland said of the amount of items donated.

The items were dropped off Mon­day at the Hardin County Ani­mal Shelter and the shelter soon after recognized Caden for his generosity on its Facebook page

“It really made me feel good that I was doing something nice,” Caden said. “You’ll always remember that time you did something good.”

Hoagland said he also was ecstatic to witness the level of generosity displayed by his son.

“I was actually amazed by him doing that and him having the heart for that,” he said.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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