We've been spotlighting inspiring real-life heroes in our "Thanks For Giving" series — and our latest guest is our youngest one yet! At 15 years old, Meena is helping dogs find their forever home just as she found hers — and her passion and dedication brought Rachael to tears.
Meena's passion for dogs started when she was very young, Meena's mom, Jaya, says.
"We adopted Meena and then we moved in with our parents who live in a very small apartment in Mumbai, and I had the task of keeping her entertained," Jaya explains. "A dog had a litter of puppies in our apartment complex, so we would spend almost six to eight hours every day just hanging out with the puppies. And that's when we found out that Meena had a passion for dogs."
"I was adopted as a child at two," Meena says, "and now I'm helping abandoned dogs get adopted. I donate all my earnings to a senior dog rescue shelter in San Francisco."
"Muttville is a cage-free senior dog rescue shelter in San Francisco," she continues. "I was really inspired by Muttville's mission to help senior dogs, so I wanted to help them in some way."
That's when Meena started Pet Fairy Services — a dog business that she created to take care of dogs around her neighborhood and ultimately donate all the earnings to Muttville.
"So far, I have raised over $25,000," the 15-year-old says. Amazing!
"I feel like I have always had a passion for animals," Meena says. "I'd say [for] senior dogs in general, because I feel like they've given us so much love and affection and they all deserve a caring, loving home — just like I found mine."
"I am so proud of Meena, who has brought the love for animals into our family and is actually inspiring all of us to give back to the community," Jaya says.
"It's my hope that I can continue to help dogs in the future," Meena says, "and maybe inspire other kids to do something similar."
Meena's mom is certainly not the only one who's proud of her. A very emotional Rachael — who also has a deep passion for dogs — expressed her pride, awe & gratitude for everything Meena does at such a young age. In fact, Rach decided that her foundation, The Rachael Ray Foundation, will donate $10,000 to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in honor of Meena. And she didn't stop there.
She was so moved that she spontaneously decided to DOUBLE that donation while on the Zoom with Meena: "I will match that with a college fund for you from my pocket," says Rach. "I am going to send your family a check that I would like to be used for your education. The world needs people like you."
Rach was crying so much that she even had to go fix her make-up after we wrapped! Rach, it's safe to say we're right there with you with the tears. 🧡
Meena is a part of our "Thanks For Giving" series, highlighting amazing people doing good every day. Read more good news stories here.