BROWNSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) — When it came time for Lila Mitchell’s ninth birthday, she did not ask for toys or gifts of any kind.

Instead, she asked that her loved ones bring donations for pet shelters to her birthday party.

Lila’s love for animals started when she and her mother found an abandoned cat named Moon in the middle of a busy highway. After being told that she could only keep Moon if she took complete care of him, she agreed and began researching everything about pet care.

It was in her research that she discovered Moon’s story was not an isolated case and that hundreds of animals are in desperate need of a loving home. This inspired her idea of asking for donations for her birthday, and her friends and family delivered.

(Photo courtesy of the Mitchell family)

All the donations were taken to Fayette Friends of Animals, a no-kill shelter and rescue, on Friday. Her birthday was on Jan. 27.

(Photo courtesy of the Mitchell family)

(Photo courtesy of the Mitchell family)

Lila’s advocacy did not start here, however. She has been raising money for children and families in need for five years. She is also the co-author, along with her sister Della, of the award-winning Della and Lila Children’s Book Series, and she has donated all of the profits made to charity.