Co-workers honor kind-hearted woman

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Lowe's Associate Gale Payne says a lost dog sparked a connection with her co-worker Jennifer Summers.

"I was trying to find out the owner and nobody called," she said.

Gayle was going on vacation.

"She volunteered to keep it for me and she did," added Gayle.

SABRINA: "She takes care of animals around here?"
GAYLE: "Yes anywhere basically. Across the street at the nursing home…"
SABRINA: "What does she do at the nursing home?"
GAYLE: "Well she takes care of the cats that are over there. People have dropped animals off, they haven't fixed them. She's trapped them, she's fixed them. She's had them spayed, neutered and released them."

Gale tells me Jennifer works two jobs to pay for pet food and medicine to save as many animals as possible.

GAYLE: "It's her number one passion."
SABRINA: "I am happy to give you this. Here's $100, $200, $300."
GAYLE: "Oh my gosh! That's wonderful!"

We set off to find Jennifer in her usual spot, the Garden Center, where she can take care of more living things. We find her manager.

"I've heard great things you know about what she's doing and it's just amazing," said Linda the Assistant Manager.

We can't wait to meet this animal lover.

GAYLE: "I've been looking all over, where have you been?"
JENNIFER: "In appliances."
GAYLE: "I'd like to introduce you to somebody."
SABRINA: "You are an amazing woman."
JENNIFER: "I don't know what have I done."
SABRINA: "So caring, so nurturing."
JENNIFER: "What have I done today?"
SABRINA: "You are this week's Acts of Kindness recipient."
JENNIFER: "Oh goodness don't make me cry."
SABRINA: "Tell her why Gayle."
GAYLE: "Because you're wonderful. You take care of all the animals around here. If anybody ever needs anything, you're always there. You've helped me a million times and I just love it."

JENNIFER: "Well, I'm not good on camera, but thank you. I don't know who to hug first."
GAYLE: "I'd like to give you this money to help take care of the animals for you."
JENNIFER: "Thank you!"
GAYLE: "$300. Here's $100…"
JENNIFER: "Thank you so much."
GAYLE: "$200…$300."
JENNIFER: "I feel like a goober crying."
GAYLE: "Maybe this'll help take care of the animals and take a little burden off you."
JENNIFER: "That'll be lovely, it's just so important to get them spayed and neutered and people don't understand that."

Jennifer's pet philosophy, don't buy or breed - adopt.

JENNIFER: "I have what maybe 30 to 35 that I take care of."
SABRINA: "30 what?"
JENNIFER: "Cats. Feral cats. We got some running around here"

She shows us where they hide during the day.

"I just have a connection with animals," Jennifer said.  "My heart goes out to them when we see them running around here."

SABRINA: "How long have you been doing this?"
GAYLE: "I don't know as long as I could purchase my own food probably and travel around and feed 'em."
SABRINA: "How much in terms of money have you invested?"
GAYLE: I couldn't tell you, I could probably retire (laughs) but you do what you can do, everybody has their passions. But thank you so much. I am overwhelmed. I am absolutely overwhelmed."

See the video above for more.

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