The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

CINDY WOOD/independent feature writer

Let’s just say Hannah Kraner was born to love animals. Named after famous animal keeper Jack Hanna,

Hannah Kraner, 12, of Van Wert plays with her golden retriever, "Daisy", at a local park. Kraner's love of animals has translated into a nice donation to the local animal shelter. (Cindy Wood/Van Wert independent)

Hannah and her family have made it a mission in their lives to help protect and care for animals.

At 12 years old, Hannah has more than her fair share of challenges, including dealing with a form of epilepsy her entire life. Just recently, doctors have begun the process of weaning her off of her epilepsy medicine.

“We have actually had animals that could detect when she was going to have a seizure,” Hannah’s mom, Robin Kraner, said.

Despite all the worries and concerns surrounding her illness, Hannah has chosen to focus instead on the positives, and her love for anything and everything furry has translated into a nice surprise for the local dog shelter.

“There is not a lot of money to feed the animals that are there,” Hannah said, “and sometimes when they can’t find a home, the shelter has to destroy the animal because they can’t afford to keep feeding them. I hated that and I asked my mom what we could do to help.”

Together, the pair decided to bake and sell cookies to raise funds that would then be used to purchase animal food for the shelter. “It’s not really a service project,” Kraner said. “I honestly just wanted to help feed the cats and dogs. I feel very sad for them.”

Hannah used her mother’s Facebook page to help spread the word about her project, and before she knew it, she had sold $120 worth of cookies. Coincidentally, the local animal shelter was sponsoring a pet adoption day at Tractor Supply Company the week following, giving Kraner the perfect opportunity to put her plan into action.

“Originally I was just going to buy bags of doggie treats, but when I made so much money, we decided to buy food as well,” Hannah said, adding that TSC management was more than happy to jump in and assist the local shelter as well.

TSC informed Hannah they would donate a 20-pound bag of cat food for every bag of dog food or bones that she purchased, making for a much larger donation to the shelter. With the funds raised from her cookie sales, Hannah was able to purchase three 50-pound bags of dog food, and three large, three medium and three small bags of dog bones. TSC then donated 10 20-pound bags of cat food.

With just a little bit of money left, Hannah’s mom thought for sure her daughter would ask to keep the money left over, but the young girl had something better in mind. “She actually donated the money to a local woman who takes care of handicapped and hard-to-place dogs at her home,” Robin said, adding the woman had paid for medical needs for a stray dog recently out of her own pocket. “So she wanted to help offset some of that cost for her.”

Although this was Hannah’s first attempt at a fundraiser, she is active in the community helping her mother search for lost animals, as well as assisting with the Children’s Garden at Smiley Park.

“She’s just such a neat kid,” Robin Kraner said of her daughter. “Every little bit helps in this community and I’m so proud of her.”

For now, Hannah will continue her efforts to help animals in the community. “Animals can’t help themselves and if nobody helped each other, then there would be a lot of people who would be poor and needy, more than there are now,” she said, adding, “anybody can make a difference and everyone has something to offer. We all should try. It feels good to help.”

For more information on how to assist the Van Wert County Humane Society, call 419.238.5088.

POSTED: 05/11/13 at 7:03 am. FILED UNDER: News