Teen raises nearly $6,400 for discarded puppies' care

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ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) -- An Antigo teen has raised more than $6,000 for an animal shelter caring for nine newborn puppies found in a trash bag.

A 56-year-old Marshfield man was arrested last month after police found the puppies in a garbage bag, in a trash can on 4th Street.

Marshfield Police say they got a call, reporting the sound of kittens coming from a garbage can outside a home on the 800 block of East 4th Street. When they arrived, they found the puppies inside. Police say they took the puppies to the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter.

Julianna Bauknecht, 13, decided to raise money for their care with her non-profit, Caring Paws. She started it when she was 9.

"This is my biggest fundraiser that I've given to somewhere all at once,” she said.

Wednesday morning, Julianna handed over just shy of $6,400 to the Marshfield Area Pet Shelter.

"Caring Paws is a non-profit that helps abused and neglected animals across Wisconsin and also abandoned or special needs. And so, that's why when I saw this, it was very important because they obviously needed help and I wanted to help in any way I possibly could,” she explained.

And, she has been helping animals even before she started the non-profit.

“When I was five, there was a K9 unit that fell off of Rib Mountain and I felt a really deep sense to help him. And so, that’s when the first fundraiser started. I had a gently used kind of garage sale for him. And that's when it all started,” she says.

Her non-profit doesn’t house any of the animals. Instead, they focus on raising funds and giving money to shelters in whatever way they see fit.

Karen Rau is the MAPS president. She’s grateful for the donation.

“The funds we receive from the Caring Paws organization will help us get the puppies spayed and neutered. Get them micro-chipped, vaccinated, and get them ready to be up for adoption,” Rau said.

And Julianna is grateful for the public’s support. She said donations poured in simply through word of mouth and Facebook shares. Her organization donated $2,000 the rest, came from the public.

She said they even received donations from Washington D.C.

Rau said Julianna’s dedication is moving.

"To see a young person engaged in so much wonderful work and starting her own non-profit to help others. Is like I said, inspiring. To see younger people trying to do what they can is a testament to what we have hope for the future for our young people,” Rau said.

She says the shelter has already received more than 50 applications from people who are looking to adopt the puppies.