Nickelodeon features local teen – December 16, 2009

Nickelodeon show to feature local teen helping animals

By SHAUN BYRON Of The Oakland Press
Dec 16, 2009
Jin Swartz of West Bloomfield Township, says he doesn’t plan on stopping when it comes to helping animals in need.

The 13-year-old West Hills Middle School student has dedicated the last 18 months to caring for animals in need with the Pontiac nonprofit Animal Care Network.

In his time away from school, the teen says he has gladly helped his dad pass out free pet food or get straw for animals in need of something warm to lay on during the winter.

It was that passion for helping animals that has led to him being featured on the children’s network Nickelodeon as part of Nick News’ “Kids to the Rescue! Helping Homeless Animals.”

The segment will focus on teens throughout the nation who assist and rescue animals.

“I wish we had more like him,” Animal Care Network Trustee Shari Scott said of Jin.

A public viewing party is being held for the premiere of the episode from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 27 at Mary Donnelly’s Public House, 3011 Orchard Lake Road in Keego Harbor.

Jin said he started volunteering with the organization as part of his Bar Mitzvah.

His dad, Irving Swartz, had already been involved with the Animal Care Network for about 12 years.

Despite no longer needing to do so, Jin has kept coming back with his dad.

A news story about his work made it to Nickelodeon producers searching across the nation for stories to feature in the news segment and a phone call was made.

The crews filmed Jin at one of the agency’s shot clinics for pets, and then going out to help animals in the neighborhoods.

Irving Swartz said he is proud of his son’s work and that it will build character.

“I don’t want him to grow up to be a guy that doesn’t know what it’s like growing up in distraught areas,” he said.

Jin, however, says the show really isn’t about him or his work.

“This will be great for the organization,” he said. “It’s really a great cause and adults should see what is going on out here.”

Contact staff writer Shaun Byron at (248) 745-4685 or

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