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Young Poet Helps Society Animals

Young Poet Donates Winnings to Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park

Pierce Burgin’s love of animals – particularly his dog, Honey – has earned him some great national kudos, a memorable day for his 5th grade class and a special place of honor at Associated Humane Societies’ Popcorn Park.

Recently, Pierce, of Sewell, NJ, was one of six first place winners in the American Pet Products Association National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest for a lovely poetic account of his dog, Honey. For the honor, Pierce won a $1,000 award to be spent in his classroom on pet education.

Pierce meets resident Princess the camel on his tour of Popcorn Park with John Bergmann, General Manager

Pierce and his teacher, Ed Pietrzak, didn’t have to think twice about what to do with the money. He used part of the proceeds to take his entire class at the J. Mason Tomlin School on a day trip to Popcorn Park. The remaining money – $760 – he donated to Associated Humane Societies’ Forked River Animal Care Facility and Popcorn Park.

“Pierce’s love for his pet is apparent in his poem, but his love and compassion for all animals is undeniable in his actions,” said Popcorn Park General Manager John Bergmann. “We owe Pierce a great deal of thanks for bringing his classmates to Popcorn Park and making such a generous donation. He’s an extraordinary young man!”

Third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from every state in the nation entered the APPA’s Pets Add Life 2nd annual children’s pet poetry contest, and wrote a poem about what they love most about their pets.

“I was so excited. We were actually on vacation when we got the email saying I won. Then a few days later, we checked the email and there it was,” Pierce said. “Everybody was really happy when I went to school and told them.”

Here’s Pierce’s poem, “Honey”:

Her root beer eyes are always there,
When I am sad and in despair.
With soft and silky golden fur,
My loving heart belongs to her.
Chasing toys and jumping around,
With Honey I have never frowned.
Chew toys, balls, and dog treats galore,
They would be all over the floor.
In the garden wild and free,
Boy and puppy is what you see.
Playing in tall grass and roses,
Stopping just to snuggle noses.
With kind and loving gentle paw,
And little teeth that never gnaw,
Wet loving licks that do not end,
Honey is this small boy’s best friend.

At right, Pierce with his dog, Honey, who inspired his award-winning poem.

Before his recent visit, Pierce had never been to Popcorn Park, nor had any of his classmates. Now, all agreed that it will be a regular location to visit and support.

“It was so good to see how the animals were treated there. So many of them were treated badly before they came to Popcorn Park. Now you can see how happy they are,” Pierce said. “It’s important to take care of animals. They are like humans – if they are treated wrongly, they will get sad and their lives will be, too. We need to take care of all animals.”

“Thank you to Pierce Burgin and his fifth grade teacher, Ed Pietrzak, for caring so much about animals and about what we do here at Associated Humane Societies/Popcorn Park. Children are some of our biggest advocates. They care so much about all living creatures and are willing to take the time to act on that love,” said Associated Humane Societies Executive Director Roseann Trezza. “We are privileged to have so many children helping us out in their own ways. We hope they will explore our web site to find ways that they can make an even greater difference in the lives of animals.”


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