Patterson, a student at Moab Charter School, says he has always loved animals.
“I just noticed that I really like animals,” Patterson said.
At home, his family has a puppy, two cats and a snake.
“I like to look at the birds outside,” he said.
A while ago, Patterson decided to put his love of animals to good use.
”I was at home one day, and I said, ‘Mom, I want to work at the animal shelter,’” Patterson said.
With his parents’ help, Patterson contacted the Moab City Animal Shelter. While the city shelter was not able to make arrangements for him to help with the shelter, the employees did help set Patterson up to volunteer time at the dog and cat adoption days that the Humane Society of Moab Valley hosts on Saturdays in Moab.
Patterson now spends his Saturdays helping out the Humane Society by walking dogs at City Market or playing with the kittens at the Moab Barkery. During the cat adoption days, Patterson said he helps set everything up before the public event starts.
“The cat adoption days are way better in the winter,” he said, adding that if the adoption day is a slow one, he helps the employees of the Barkery price items in the store.
“The ladies that work there put him to work,” said Patterson’s mother, Jennifer Patterson. “It’s great.”
During the dog adoption days, Elias Patterson does his best to help keep the dogs quiet.
“Sometimes I walk them around City Market to help them get their energy out,” he said.
Patterson said he tries to attend the adoption days every Saturday, with the exception of vacations and special occasions.
“I had to miss one for my brother’s birthday,” he said.
In the past, Patterson and his family have also helped out by fostering kittens for the Humane Society, and their two kittens were adopted at one of the organization’s cat adoption days.
“I picked them all by myself,” Patterson said with more than a hint of pride.
Patterson’s parents, Jody and Jennifer Patterson, also help by accompanying their son to the adoption days.
“Every time Elias volunteers, one of his parents [is] with him,” Jennifer Patterson said. “It’s great that he’s doing this. Of all the stuff that an 8-year-old can get into, we can really get behind this.”
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