CORNELIUS – In lieu of birthday presents this year, 8-year-old Haley Klein of Cornelius asked her friends to help collect dog and cat food for the animal shelter in Cornelius. Klein’s eight friends from Blythe Elementary School in Huntersville donated bags of dog and cat food, and in the end Haley ended up with 11 bags of food.

Her mother, Christene Klein said Haley was inspired to do the pet food donations because both of the family’s mix-breed dogs are adopted from the shelter.

“So she knows the need the shelters have for food,” Klein said. “I am so proud of my daughter giving up her birthday presents for an unselfish act such as this.”