A young boy battling leukemia is being called a hero to animals after donating his own money to the Suffolk County SPCA.
Ian Himmelstein was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a proclamation Tuesday for his generous donation.
The 8-year-old, who is going through chemotherapy, said he donated money and dog treats to the SPCA because of his love for animals.
“I’ve been saving money for a trip because of my cancer, but I thought the animals might need it more,” Ian told 1010 WINS.
Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA, called Ian “a wonderful young boy.”
“Just the compassion to help alleviate the pain and suffering of animals here in Suffolk County,” said Gross. “I just feel overwhelmed that a child could do this and have such a passion for animals.”
Last fall, Ian was attacked and injured by a neighbor’s dog, but the 8-year-old said that didn’t change his love for animals.
“I love dogs, I just don’t like that dog,” Ian said.
Gross says part of Ian’s donation is going to use right away. The dog biscuits Ian gave to the SPCA are headed to the Riverhead Senior Center where a shelter has been set up for residents with pets who were forced to evacuate from a massive brush fire.