"I think all dogs are really sweet and older dogs give the same unconditional love as other dogs and they should find a home because they've given so much," Meena Kumar told "Good Morning America." "They need a home."
Meena, a rising high school sophomore, was adopted in India 12 years ago, after spending one year in an orphanage. She and her parents then moved to San Jose, California.
Her mom, Jayashree Subrahmonia, remembers Meena being obsessed with dogs from the time when the family had to stay in a small apartment with Subrahmonia's parents in Mumbai until the adoption was finalized.
"My husband and I were wondering how we were going to keep this 2-year-old from running around and keep her entertained for two weeks while we got the paperwork done," she said. "We really lucked out because right near the apartment was a dog who had litter of puppies. We'd go over to the puppies for two or three hours [a day]."
When Meena was 8, she adopted her first pet, a dog named Bambi.
She was soon introduced by a neighbor to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a cage-free dog rescue in San Francisco that finds loving homes for senior dogs. Meena soon visited the shelter -- located about one hour from her home -- with her parents.
"When she got there, she sat down on a sofa and all these dogs came and sat on her lap and a big smile broke out on her face," said Sherri Franklin, who founded the shelter in 2007. "It was like immediate love for Muttville."
Meena was too young to volunteer at the shelter so she came up with another way to help.
She started her own dog care company, Pet Fairy Services, with a commitment to donate all the proceeds to Muttville.
"We first advertised on Nextdoor [app] and said I had a dog boarding business and you could drop the dog off for a few days and I'd take them to local trips to the beach and the dog park and try to keep them entertained," said Meena, who also relied on word of mouth from neighbors and her parents' friends. "And business started to grow."
Meena also walked dogs in her neighborhood and tried other fundraising ventures, like playing the violin for donations. Over the past several years, she has donated more than $14,000 to Muttville, thanks also to a matching charity donation program with her father's company.
"All of our funds go to saving dogs' lives," said Franklin. "Just $1,000 is able to save a couple of dogs' lives, so imagine what her donations have helped us do."
"That just started as a 9-year-old who said, 'I want to make a difference,'" she added. "She's such a great example and she's made other kids who go to school with her become aware of our work and of adopting dogs and think about ways to help in the world."
Meena said she hopes other people, young ones and seniors alike, are inspired by her story and choose to do what they love to do.
"Follow your heart and believe in your dreams and if you work hard, you will succeed," said Meena, who is now also working with Pebble Naturals, a line of pet supplements that includes products for older dogs, to help raise money for Muttville.
Meena said she hopes people don't forget about adopting senior dogs, who are often either euthanized or left to spend the rest of their lives in shelters.
"Please adopt more senior dogs," she said. "I really guarantee that they will give you the same unconditional love and affection as any other dog.