When most kid's birthdays roll around, they plan parties anticipating the presents that will accompany those celebrations.
But when Hamden resident Ben Baitis recently turned 7, he decided he had enough toys for himself and instead requested presents for the homeless pets at Hamden Animal Control, which is located at the North Haven Animal Shelter.
And on Saturday he, his family and some of his friends delivered those presents: 75 pounds of dog food, 20 pounds of cat food, two dog toys, two bags of dog treats, two blankets and Clorox wipes.
"I wanted to help the dogs," Ben explained of his decision to forgo his own presents in favor of the items for the shelter.
He got the idea after seeing the story on televison of another child who did something similar, he said. He first did it two years ago and decided to do it again this year, he said.
"I'll do it again too," he said.
"He's always liked animals," his mother Julie said.
His generosity was contagious -- his friend Emelia Lockett, 7, was happy to pick out some pet foot for the shelter, her mother Carissa said.
"She's an animal lover and was excited to help the animals," Carissa Lockett said.
"They're cute and want their new owners," Emelia said.