State College Kid Nabs PETA Award for Homemade Dog Toy Donations

For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2021

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

State College, Pa. – PETA Kids, PETA’s youth division, has recognized fifth-grader Ryan Marusa with a special Hero to Animals Award for creating and donating 200 braided fleece toys to dogs in his hometown, including those at local shelters. In return, Ryan simply asks for photographs of his satisfied canine customers enjoying their toys.

“Thanks to Ryan’s compassion and creativity, life is more fun for dozens of playful dogs,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “PETA Kids is recognizing him for showing that young people can have the biggest hearts for animals.”

PETA Kids—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—thanks Ryan for thinking of the animals in his community, as approximately 70 million dogs and cats are homeless in the U.S. at any given time. PETA Kids urges families never to buy an animal from a breeder or pet store, which exacerbates the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis, and to follow Ryan’s lead by treating four-legged family members to toys as well as lots of good food, exercise, and affection.

PETA Kids opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind