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EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Written by: Elise Tempelhoff for News24

Alyssa Carter was six years old when she decided that rhinos needed her help.

On Saturday, a year and a half later, she handed two Belgian shepherd dogs worth R100,000 each to the Marakele National Park in Limpopo Province to aid in fighting poachers, Netwerk24 reported.

Alyssa told Netwerk24 on Sunday that she was in Grade 1 when she first heard about rhinos. She was told that rhinos are killed for their horns.

“It hurt my heart and I wanted to do something to help them,” she said. “I drew a picture of a rhino and showed it to my mum and dad. I wanted us to make stickers and sell them to raise money.”

Brian Carter, Alyssa’s father, said that he, his wife Natalie and Alyssa then put their heads together and decided to rather sell chocolates, cookies and sweets to raise funds. A sweets company agreed to make chocolates and cookies using the picture Alyssa drew as an outline for the cookie.

Cookie designed by Alyssa Carter
A cookie sold by Alyssa Carter to raise funds © Brian Carter

Alyssa first sold the goodies at her school and church but later branched out to markets.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers invited the family to a breakfast with Louis Lemmer, Chairperson of the National Executive Committee, who told them how dogs were used to catch poachers.

It was then that Alyssa decided she wanted to buy dogs with the money she had raised.

On Saturday, Alyssa and her family handed two of those dogs over to the SANParks Honorary Rangers. They are two years old and already trained.

sniffer dogs bought with money raised
Alyssa Carter with one of the dogs © Steve de Beer, Netwerk24

“I can visit my dogs anytime,” Alyssa told Netwerk24 excitedly.

Thus far, Alyssa has raised almost R300,000. Her father said Alyssa would continue her project until she had enough money to buy one more dog.

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