CHICAGO (CBS)-- An animal lover turned her North Side home into a haven for abandoned pets.
Paige Bentley has raised thousands of dollars to help them, and she's only 9 years old.
"Cats probably need the most, they probably need love, and just to be gentle and kind with them," Paige said. "They're just so calm and kind, and they just love you."
Paige's mom Beth Bentley said her daughter carried dog treats around in her coat before they had pets and would buy dog treats with her own money.
"She's always loved animals in a very intense way," Beth said.
Paige is turning her intensity into helping cats and dogs in shelters. This past summer, she ran eight lemonade stands to raise money for a shelter near her home.
She's quite the savvy businesswoman.
"I thought maybe because people are hot, why not sell lemonade?" she said.
She raised $3,500.
A recent bagel sale at her school brought in another $1,000.
And as the holidays approach, Paige is on a new mission, making sure every shelter dog possible has a toy for Christmas.
Using a registry through Amazon and Walmart, Paige is collecting donations at her house and then delivering the toys.
Her mom says she's not surprised.
"As she's gotten older and more aware of how many animals need help, she's just very committed," Beth said. "We were on vacation, and we were at a church, and she was writing prayer that the cats from animal control would get adopted."
This year, Paige's full-time gig is fostering cats. It was all Paige's idea and it's a lot of work.
"Every morning I wake up and I feed them and then I play with them," Paige said. "We get them used to noises. They're not used to a vacuum or a dishwasher, or something like that. So we try to get them used to that."
As if all this isn't enough, Paige also sews her own quilts to give to shelter pets.
"When I grow up, I probably will run an animal shelter or a farm and have lots of dogs, cats and kittens," Paige said.
Her mom could not be more proud.
"It's genuine in her. It's hard to deny, because her passion is so strong," Beth said.
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