Ariel and Yoda

Ariel Korenstein hugs his new dog, Yoda.

ARIZONA CITY — A Toltec Elementary School fifth grader who donated money for a new tree at his school has now donated money to needy dogs.

And he got himself a new dog in the process.

Friends of Pinal County Animal Shelter & Rescues partnered with Pinal County Animal Care and Control for a booth at Arizona City Daze Saturday.

Lisa Ann Korenstein and her son Ariel came to the booth, saying their dog had died last year. Ariel had been saving up to donate to needy dogs; he wanted to help.

“Our group was at the Arizona City Daze trying to find forever homes for the dogs at the shelter, and raise money for the medical needs of Pinal County animals, “ said Kathi Ryszka, with the Friends group. “Lisa was in tears when she and Ariel stopped by.”

Ariel asked his mom if he could adopt Yoda, a small Chihuahua mix.

“Mom said if Yoda was still there after they walked the board walk it was meant to be,” Ryszka said. “Well, it was meant to be; when they returned, Yoda was still there and Ariel got his dog and Yoda got his forever home.”

Ariel made the promise to ”Love, cherish and give this dog a forever home” and to keep his grades up.

Ariel and his mom signed the paperwork together.

“I also had found out that Ariel is wanting to work with animals when he grows up and wants to become a veterinarian,” Ryszka said.

In October, Ariel donated $160 to his school after a windstorm blew over an iconic tree on campus.

The mulberry tree that was uprooted had been on the campus since the school opened back in the mid-1950s.