PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Austin Testa is no stranger to helping abused animals.
He started volunteering with dogs and helping animals at the age of 6. He's now 11.
Austin has not only raised more than $51,000 for animals, but he's also created a nonprofit organization to help raise the money.
Like any normal 11-year-old, Austin says he loves riding his bike and playing video games. Outside of school, however, he spends a lot of time volunteering and raising more money for humane societies throughout Tampa Bay.
"What I really love is playing with dogs and giving them treats," Austin added.
The nonprofit organization, Every Bark Counts, has raised $53,000 as of Monday towards its $60,000 goal.
But Austin isn't finished there.
He plans on helping the Humane Society of Pinellas County raise enough money to fund a new shelter and help rescue 10,000 more animals.
All by the time he turns 12.
One of his biggest motivators for raising funds for animals continues to be the animals' well-being and happiness.
"Basically every animal just wants to be loved," Austin said.
Austin works through his organization to supply food, treats, and other animal supplies to shelters.
He has even been sponsored by the likes of Chewy, which has helped him supply additional food and supplies for local shelters.
"I get [the shelter's] wish list, which is mainly beds, foods, toys, treats, and I donate to them," he added.
Austin's family owns three dogs of their own, including a full-blooded Chihuahua named Bella, a Chihuahua-Jack Russell mix named Oreo, and a Chihuahua mix named Diesel who was abused as a puppy and taken away from his mom.
Dealing with previously abused dogs formed such a soft spot in Austin, he helped raised more than $3,000 for a previous dog-fighting pup named Hubble.
"He was an animal that was put on steroids for dog-fighting and they surgically removed his canine teeth, so he would lose in the dog-fighting," Austin said.
He also added that Hubble was beaten, his back leg dislocated and fractured from being thrown from a car.
"I paid for his surgery and have been helping him with his recovery," Austin said. "I just really care for them, because I can't stand if someone beats an animal."
His ultimate goal for the organization and for himself?
"I just want to see every animal get adopted, so they can actually be happy and be loved," Austin said. He also says he would eventually like to build his own shelter.
You can help raise money for Every Bark Counts through Austin's GoFundMe account.
What other people are reading right now:
- Man accused of sexually battering 6-year-old girl
- Florida couple forgot they left their toddler at the park for hours: deputies
- Man electrocuted trying to use a metal pole to remove bird from power line
- Fifth earthquake strikes near Alabama-Florida state line
- 'Dreamer' flight attendant detained by ICE after flying to Mexico for her job
►Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.