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Placer Sentinel

Local Humane Hero 'Lia' Committed to Helping Animals of the Unhoused

Sep 14, 2022 12:00AM ● By RedRover News Release

Local Loomis teen, Lia Pusterla, takes on a community challenge of helping local animals in need. Photo courtesy RedRover

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Local Loomis teen, Lia Pusterla, is featured as the Humane Hero in the September/October issue of Kind News™, a children's magazine published by RedRover, a national animal welfare nonprofit based in Sacramento, California.

Lia has always loved animals - both of her parents are veterinarians - and she has been surrounded by furry and feathered friends her whole life. In fact, she and her parents currently care for a growing brood at home that includes a llama, a goat, horses, sheep, dogs, cats, and more.

Lia’s mom, Jill, not only treats animals in her veterinary practice; she also goes into the community to help the pets of the unhoused in downtown Sacramento. Two years ago, while her mom was making the rounds caring for these pets, Lia realized that while there were many resources available to help the growing unhoused population, their pets weren’t afforded the same resources. So, she decided to start a pet supply drive.

Lia said, "I saw these animals in need and decided I wanted to do something to help."

Her mother created a post on their local Facebook page asking for supplies, and the response was overwhelming! They received bags of pet food, treats, leashes, collars, and used and new beds.

Not only has Lia collected supplies for the pets of the unhoused population, but when the devastating Dixie Fire destroyed nearly 1 million acres in 2021, she took action. She collected supplies for both pets and people evacuated from the second biggest wildfire in California’s history – and was able to donate $4,000 in grocery gift cards!

In the two years since Lia began collecting supplies, she has helped an estimated 100 people and pets. She organizes five to six supply drives a year and makes sure to shop for pet supplies after each holiday, when items go on clearance, to really stretch the donation dollars she receives.

RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth said, “Lia’s generous spirit is truly an inspiration for all of us. I hope that other youth see a need in their community and take the initiative to help people and pets in crisis.”

Kind News uses articles and short features to highlight issues affecting animals and provides tips for understanding animal behavior and caring for pets. Each issue features a young Humane Hero, game or activity, MUTTS comic strip, Critter Clues, and much more.

Do you know a child who goes above and beyond to show kindness towards animals? Submit a kindness story for a chance for them to be featured on RedRover’s and Kind News’ social media channels and potentially be chosen as a Humane Hero:

If you’d like to support Lia’s efforts to help pets in need, you can contact her mother Jill at [email protected].

To learn more about Kind News and view Lia’s feature, visit


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