A Levittown teenager with a love for animals was recognized recently by his town for being a “hero” to a local animal shelter.

John Ramirez, a senior at MacArthur High School, has received the Shelter Hero Award from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter for spearheading a two-week collection of items needed for animals who reside there. Collected items included new beds, toys and treats, along with $600 in cash.

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Ramirez pursued the project after seeking community service opportunities and learning about the shelter from a family friend. Upon visiting the facility, he was made aware of supplies they could use and then sought donations from neighbors, friends and family.

“I did not expect as much as I received,” said Ramirez, 17. “I love animals, and after taking a walk through the shelter and actually seeing them, it made things that much more special.”

At MacArthur, Ramirez is a member of his school’s Business Honor Society. He was one of 74 seniors recently recognized at an annual breakfast for maintaining a grade-point average of 95 or higher for all four years at the school.

After high school, he plans to study computer science.

“John is a generous and kindhearted young man,” MacArthur Principal Joe Sheehan said. “He’s an absolute pleasure to work with on a daily basis.”