Metro/Robson Fletcher Seven-year-old Natalie Gurr gave up presents for her recent birthday and instead asked her friends to donate to Pound Rescue, a local animal shelter. She presented the proceeds to Maureen Hurly of Pound Rescue on Sunday.

Most seven year olds would be hard pressed to forego presents on their birthday, but not Natalie Gurr.

Instead of gifts, when Natalie turned seven earlier this month, she asked her friends to make a donation to Pound Rescue Adoption Centre, a local animal shelter from which the Gurr family adopted their dog, Bella.

“She said ,‘Mom I think we should give back to Pound Rescue because they gave us our best friend,’” said Natalie’s proud mom, Tammy Gurr.

On Sunday, Natalie handed over a cheque for $600 (a real one and a giant novelty one) to Maureen Hurly of Pound Rescue.

The organization co-ordinates foster homes for about 200 cats and dogs until they can be adopted into permanent homes, Hurly said.

Natalie said her friends were quite impressed by her decision to ask for donations instead of gifts, and one friend in particular decided to do the same thing for her own birthday.

“She’s donating money to the Children’s Hospital,” Natalie said.

Tammy said she hopes more children who already have enough belongings realize there is more to life than another haul of birthday presents.

“We’re trying to start a movement with the next generation,” she said. “Pay it forward, right?”

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