TOPEKA (KSNT) – It was a special reunion for the now 6th graders at Shawnee Heights Elementary Thursday when they reunited with a local shelter dog whose life they helped save four years ago.
“Ryker was at Helping Hands Humane Society and he’d been hit by a car and that he needed an amputation,” Marta Barron, one of Ryker’s owners, said.
Mrs. Sharp’s class of then-second graders found out the same thing and wanted to help raise the $400 needed for his surgery.
So without a second thought, the students took action asking family, friends and even dipping into their own piggy banks to raise the money needed.
“I love dogs, I love animals, and I don’t like seeing animals in pain,” 6th grader Levi Morris said.
“I didn’t want him to die and we got the chance to save something so important,” 6th grader Haileigh Dykstra said.
It was a new “leash” on life the family who adopted Ryker is forever grateful for.
The Barrons said the reunion was a full-circle moment, getting to watch Ryker run and play with the very students who made his recovery possible.
“It was emotional. I said you know kids, what you did was the most amazing thing to have this reunion…it almost got me misty-eyed,” Ryker’s other owner Ric Barron said.
The students’ teacher back in 2017 who told them about Ryker’s story said it was a moment that none of them will ever forget.
“There was cheers, there was some tears even and he still so near and dear to their heart. He is a special dog to them,” Special Education teacher Trisha Sharp said.
The students raised more than the $400 needed for Ryker’s surgery and were able to donate the rest to Helping Hands Humane Society to help out other dogs in need.