Sarah Jayne Orton was a little girl with a huge heart but tragically, her life was cut short in October of 2013, just a few months after her fifth birthday. Sarah's parents were initially told she just had a bug, but that bug grew into something much more serious- sepsis. Sepsis can be triggered by an infection in any part of the body and is very deadly. Sarah got sick on Tuesday night and by Thursday, her light was snuffed out. Sarah's aunt, Nicole Matthews, told the Baltimore Sun, "The doctor said getting this type of condition is almost like getting hit by lightning."

Sarah might have been little, but she was mighty and she loved animals in a huge way. As a matter of fact, for her fifth birthday, Sarah requested that instead of gifts, her friends and family give her donations for the animal shelter from which her own pup had been adopted.

Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation

When word got around about this precious angel, her love for animals, and her desire to help, donations started flooding into the animal shelter from all over the world. After her death, Sarah's family wanted to keep her memory and her mission alive and so they created the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation.

Each year since Sarah passed away, her family and friends have tried to hold at least one event to benefit shelter animals. Sarah Jayne Orton Paws For a Cause Inc. is an officially licensed 501(c)(3) organization and all funds raised through various events are distributed between the Baltimore Humane Society and Stray Haven, here in New York.

Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation

The 4th Annual Sarah's Cause For Paws fundraiser will be held at Hickories Park in Owego on Saturday, October 6th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and you don’t need to have a dog to attend. However, if you do have a dog, there will be a one-mile dog walk (registration is at 11 a.m.). There will also be pet costume contests, vendors, a blessing of the animals, music, food, and more.

This event will be held rain or shine. If you can’t make it, but want to make a donation, you’re invited to register and collect donations from your friends, family, and co-workers.

[via Baltimore Sun/Sarah Jayne Orton Paws for a Cause/Stray Haven]