Aberfeldy School teacher Stacey McKenzie feels very proud of her senior pupils who have come up with a way to help animals.

The "four-legged food drive" will be held throughout November to raise awareness of pet neglect and help the SPCA.

Charlie O'Hagan, 10, came up with the idea after her class read a story in the School Journal.

"We learned about the button drive where a school is collecting buttons to remember Holocaust children," she said.

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Bialik School in Melbourne aims to collect 1.5 million buttons to honour the children who perished at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.

When they reach their target, the buttons will be used to decorate a monument to the lost children.

"I asked the class if there was something they would like to collect for a cause and Charlie suggested pets," said Ms McKenzie. "We contacted the SPCA to see if a food drive would help them and they were over the moon."

Charlie lives on a farm with lots of animals and she owns a cat called Max, a rabbit named Mister and a pet lamb called Dot.

"I love animals and I really want to do something for them," she said. Classmates Taonga Hoeta and Hunter Browning have been helping to plan the food drive.
Hunter is something of a "chicken whisperer" and manages to round up some of the school chooks for a photo.

"I have seen animals that aren't being looked after properly and it's very sad," he said.
"We have two cats at home - one called Mister, who is friendly, but the other cat, Digit, just hates everybody."

Taonga said he had a 5-month-old puppy named Elizabeth at his home and he had never seen animals mistreated.

"I know it happens, though, because I've seen it on TV." The four-legged food drive starts tomorrow and donations can be dropped off at Aberfeldy School, Parapara Highway; Wanganui SPCA, 134 London St; or at Hill St Greens on the corner of Hill and Ingestre Sts.