For most children, a birthday is the time to request a coveted gadget or tear open an eagerly awaited toy, but for his ninth birthday, Ethan Katz told his parents he wanted to save dogs.
"I was a little bit surprised that he didn’t want a toy or some kind of gift or something but this is just who he is," Ethan's mom, Lisa Katz, said today on "Good Morning America."
The Stevensville, Md., boy and his father, Andy, got to work, designing T-shirts for sale.
Writing on Booster.com, the website where Ethan sold the shirts for $20 each, the boy explained his mission:
“My name is Ethan Katz and I am eight years old. I love dogs. I have two dogs that are very sweet. My birthday is on May 29th. This year for my birthday I want to raise money for my favorite rescue organization - City Dogs Rescue. We rescued my dog Brooklyn from City Dogs in November. I made this shirt to sell for City Dogs,” he wrote.
Ethan’s effort raised nearly $3,000, which was donated to City Dogs Rescue, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that saves dogs from kill shelters and finds them homes. Ethan’s donation was enough to save 10 dogs from euthanasia.
"I have two dogs at home and I love them both so much and other dogs too and my grandmother fosters dogs and my whole family pretty much," Ethan said on "GMA," explaining why he was inspired to raise the money.
"If you’re upset, my dog, Brooklyn, will make you feel better every day," Ethan said.
A post on City Dog Rescue’s website last month acknowledged Ethan’s efforts.
“Thank you, Ethan, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY from all of us here at City Dogs Rescue!” it said.
Admirers also added their congratulations for Ethan on the organization’s Facebook page.
“Ethan, you are a truly amazing kid!!!!! Thank you for your selflessness and compassion! YOU are a role model for all of us, kids and adults alike!” Valerie McBirney Vandever wrote Wednesday.
Added Amy Craft Gahagan: “I LOVE my t-shirt Ethan! You rock!!”
Even though Ethan already got what he wanted for his birthday, “Good Morning America” gave him a Lego set and made a donation on his behalf to City Dogs Rescue.