Quest for unconditional love: Spokane teen works to help homeles - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Quest for unconditional love: Spokane teen works to help homeless with pets

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

As Olympic athletes strive for gold, a teenager in Spokane is striving for a cause.

Avery Plank is only 15, but five years ago, he founded his own charity called Project Unconditional Love.

The freshman at Mt. Spokane High School took his love for animals, and created a way to make it possible for other people to experience the same joy you can only feel from having a pet.

Spending time in downtown Spokane, it's not uncommon to see homeless people with a dog walking at their side.

Plank noticed as a kid, and contacted the director of a charity that feeds homeless people.

"I asked her does anyone supply dog food or vaccines or anything, and she said no not really," he recalled.

A few days later, he and his dad set up at the weekly distribution for Blessings under the Bridge.

"We just went down there with a few cardboard boxes of dog and cat food and passed them out," Plank said. "And we really didn't stop."

That afternoon in 2013, he started Project Unconditional Love, giving pet food to people who can't always afford it, so they too can experience the unconditional love only a dog or cat can give.

Now every week, Plank goes to his storage unit -- which National Storage donates to him, and he bags up cat and dog food.

Through his donation bins at Northwest Seed and Pet, and his Amazon wish list, he helps homeless people feed their pets every week.

Founder Jessica Kovac says many people they serve rely on Plank to take care of their companions.

"It's awesome. We've been doing pet food since we started, but he kind of brought another twist to it. besides his food, collars, outfits, love," Kovac explained. "They know Avery and they come to get the special treats they need for their animals."

At their Wednesday night distributions, Plank sees the impact of his work, as people often feed their pets with his food, before they feed themselves.

Sometimes, he's even seen the giving come full circle.

"The week before this event we were really low on dog food, and this guy who we had been feeding for about 6 months at that point," Plank said, "he came up to us with a 20 dollar bill and said you need this more than I do. That was really touching."

Now, Plank has set his sights on expanding, to soon be able to offer vaccines, spays and neuters, and create starter kits, so other kids can set up similar giving programs across the country.

It's all an effort by one teen with a huge heart, to help as many people and pets as he can.

"I plan to do it until I die I guess," Plank said. "I don't see a reason to stop, and I only see reasons to keep going."

Plank got even more good news last week. Country superstar and pet rescuer Miranda Lambert signed a donated guitar for him while she was in Spokane, and he plans to auction it off as a fundraiser in the future.

As soon as he sets a date for that, we'll let you know. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner resigns amid graphic baboon hunting photo controversy

    Monday, October 15 2018 6:29 PM EDT2018-10-15 22:29:39 GMT

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

    >>

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer has resigned, effective immediately, after photos involving a dead baboon family surfaced from an African hunting trip. Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Monday afternoon that he asked for and received the resignation from Fischer, who was under intense criticism for the graphic photos from last month.

    >>
  • Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Man run over by lawn mower while trying to kill son with chainsaw

    Monday, October 15 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-10-15 23:38:29 GMT

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>

    BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) - A man who police say was run over with a lawn mower while trying to kill his son with a chain saw has had to have his leg amputated. The Bristol Herald Courier reports that a warrant for 76-year-old Douglas Ferguson couldn’t be served until Tuesday because of the severity of his injuries.

    >>
  • Hayden man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Hayden man shares story of Grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana

    Sunday, October 14 2018 3:11 PM EDT2018-10-14 19:11:51 GMT
    Bob Legasa -  FacebookBob Legasa - Facebook

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Hayden, Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. Legasa says in the post: "My hunting partner Greg Gibson and I surprised a Sow grizzly and her cub as we were moving in on some Elk. We walked up to with in 12 yards when we all saw each other And before I could even reach for my bear spray she was at full charge.

    >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. - A Facebook post by Bob Legasa of Hayden, Idaho is going viral after he survived a grizzly attack while bow hunting in Montana. Legasa says in the post: "My hunting partner Greg Gibson and I surprised a Sow grizzly and her cub as we were moving in on some Elk. We walked up to with in 12 yards when we all saw each other And before I could even reach for my bear spray she was at full charge.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Spokane bomb squad removes explosive device from Smelterville home

    Spokane bomb squad removes explosive device from Smelterville home

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 1:18 AM EDT2018-10-16 05:18:08 GMT

    SMELTERVILLE, Idaho - The Spokane bomb squad was called in to assist with an explosive device found in the Smelterville area on Monday. Shoshone County Sheriff's Office Deputies and the District 2 Fire Department responded to a residence in Smelterville for a possible explosive device. Following some questioning and investigation, the Spokane bomb squad was dispatched.

    >>

    SMELTERVILLE, Idaho - The Spokane bomb squad was called in to assist with an explosive device found in the Smelterville area on Monday. Shoshone County Sheriff's Office Deputies and the District 2 Fire Department responded to a residence in Smelterville for a possible explosive device. Following some questioning and investigation, the Spokane bomb squad was dispatched.

    >>
  • Oregon hunter kills advancing cougar near Mt. Hood

    Oregon hunter kills advancing cougar near Mt. Hood

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-10-16 05:01:26 GMT
    Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on UnsplashPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man hunting for deer near Mt. Hood killed a cougar after he says three of the big cats advanced toward him. KGW-TV reports Bill Nylund of Rhododendron was hunting near Badger Lake earlier this month when the cougars approached. He says the animals didn't appear scared of him, leaving him no choice but to shoot one. He shot an adult female cougar that was about 50 feet (15 meters) away.    

    >>

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man hunting for deer near Mt. Hood killed a cougar after he says three of the big cats advanced toward him. KGW-TV reports Bill Nylund of Rhododendron was hunting near Badger Lake earlier this month when the cougars approached. He says the animals didn't appear scared of him, leaving him no choice but to shoot one. He shot an adult female cougar that was about 50 feet (15 meters) away.    

    >>
  • Little, Jordan talk issues at Idaho gubernatorial debate

    Little, Jordan talk issues at Idaho gubernatorial debate

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 12:49 AM EDT2018-10-16 04:49:37 GMT
    KTVBKTVB

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho's gubernatorial candidates struck starkly different tones on transparency, health care and education during a live televised debate Monday evening. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a longtime Republican lawmaker who has served as lieutenant governor since 2009, faced Democrat Paulette Jordan, a former state lawmaker and member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council on the Idaho Public Television debate. 

    >>

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho's gubernatorial candidates struck starkly different tones on transparency, health care and education during a live televised debate Monday evening. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, a longtime Republican lawmaker who has served as lieutenant governor since 2009, faced Democrat Paulette Jordan, a former state lawmaker and member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council on the Idaho Public Television debate. 

    >>