See Something, Do Something

How a Wayzata High School freshman saved the lives of four cats—and is now telling their story.

When Justin M. Anderson of Minnetonka, now 14, found a cat and her kittens in the park near his house last summer, he made a conscious decision to help. After rounding up the cats with the help of his mom, Rachel, they brought them to the Animal Humane Society. And then, Justin started writing.

“When we first found the cats,” Justin says, “it felt like a story was unfolding in front of me. I remember saying to my mom, ‘This would make a great story.’ ”

In his book, Saving Stripes: A Kitty’s Story, Justin tells the tale of saving the cats and eventually keeping one of the little ones, whom he named Stripes. With the help of the Adopt-A-Pet Shop in Plymouth, Justin and Rachel were able to save Stripes’ mother, who had been deemed unadoptable by the Animal Humane Society. Now all the cats have been adopted into their own “forever home,” says Rachel.

All the proceeds of Saving Stripes will go to the Adopt-A-Pet Shop, which dipped into its emergency funds to save Stripes’ mom. “Justin has always been a very kind-hearted kid,” Rachel says. “It was his idea to donate any money we earned to the Adopt-A-Pet Shop. I remember him saying to me, ‘They need the money a lot more than I do.’ ”

When asked what he hopes people learn from Saving Stripes, Justin says, “I hope that next time they see animals that look out of place, they won’t just keep on walking. They’ll do something about it instead.”

Saving Stripes: A Kitty’s Story can be purchased for $10 at the Adopt-A-Pet Shop and at the website here. Visit their Facebook page to keep up with events and updates.