LAHARPE — A love of helping others, coupled with a love of animals has kept Blaine King busy the past few weeks.
King culminated his month-plus effort to convert old tires into bedding for dogs and cats Saturday, by delivering five of the beds to the Allen County Animal Rescue Facility.
The project doubles as King’s “self-determined” community service project as part of his work with the Seekers Not Slackers 4-H Club.
King, age 13, is a student at Crest Middle School in Colony.
King read about the idea to recycle old car tires, so he went about securing materials necessary for his project.
A friend in Moran had several old tires for him to select from, while other acquaintances donated the paint.
“It was definitely an economically friendly type of recycling project,” noted King’s mom, Denise.
The bedding materials, primarily old pillows and blankets, were acquired at various yard sales or local thrift stores.
The tricky part was finding tires that could safely be used for the animals, making sure they were free of nails, staples or other metal fragments that could poke an unsuspecting animal.
From there, he power-washed, then painted the tires, and outfitted them with appropriate-sized bedding materials.
King made seven beds in all, one of which he kept for his Australian shepherd at home. Another was sold to a family friend.
The remaining five were taken Saturday to ACARF for the shelter to use as it sees fit, King noted.
The tires can be large enough to fit many large breeds, from retrievers to labs, while the smaller ones are more appropriate for smaller breeds, or kittens, Denise King said.
King participates in several 4-H projects during the year, including visual arts, fiber arts, photography and food preparation.
But it’s the bed project that ties into King’s love of animals.
His dream is to become a veterinarian, his mother said.
As a seventh-grader, King is being introduced to vo ag classes at CMS.
“That kind of ties into a career,” Denise King said. “Right now, his goal is to help animals.”