A glitter of hope: L.A. County leaves a little sparkle in Madeline’s dream to own a unicorn
Madeline has loved unicorns since she was 3 years old. Her dream – to one day own a unicorn of her own. The Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Castaic branch has brought Madeline one step closer to her dream.
Back in November, Madeline wrote to Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control requesting a license to keep a unicorn in her backyard.
“Dear L.A. County, I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one. Please send me a letter in response,” read the letter.
Marcia Mayeda, director of Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control, received the letter and immediately knew she wanted to do something special.
“It was just so touching and heartwarming we all were so excited when we read it and just filled with joy,” said Mayeda. “We just wanted to do something special for her.”
Mayeda worked with her team to create the license that Madeline requested, but some terms and conditions applied.
Madeline’s license required for her to do the following with her unicorn: give the unicorn regular access to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows, feed it watermelon once a week, polish its horn once a month with a soft cloth and any sparkles or glitter used on the unicorn must be nontoxic and biodegradable.
Mayeda’s team also bought Madeline a stuffed unicorn to care for and made it a personalized tag labeled, “Permanent unicorn license.”
Mayeda posted their efforts on social media and the posts circulated internationally.
“It got an unbelievable, international response,” said Mayeda. “It’s rewarding to see how happy it made people all around the world.”
The post also had many sending Mayeda unicorn patches, stickers, books and a handmade blanket from a woman in Illinois for Madeline. It even reached the company that made the stuffed unicorn, Plushible.
Plushible decided to send Madeline an even larger unicorn than the original.
On Friday, Madeline’s seventh birthday, Madeline celebrated at the Castaic Animal Care Center.
“It’s been one for the books, I can’t top this,” said Madeline’s mother Leilani.
The Castaic Animal Care Center took Madeline and her family on a tour of the facility and presented Madeline with all of her gifts, including both the small and large unicorn.
“I’ve always wanted a unicorn, they’re so fun to have because you can ride them and I’ve always liked their special magical horn because it can grant you magic wishes,” said Madeline.
Madeline named her small unicorn Glitter and the big one Sparkle.
She will continue her search for a real unicorn and now with her license, she can bring it back to keep in her backyard.
“I hope that I find one, I’m gonna search in Scotland because I heard that their country animal is a unicorn,” said Madeline.
Madeline’s story inspired the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation to open up a fund in her name.
For a donation of $25 to Madeline’s Magical Unicorn Fund, one can receive a unicorn license of their own and a certificate. Donations must be made at https://lacountyanimals.org/give/ by clicking “I would like to dedicate this donation” and then selecting “Unicorn.” Licenses and certificates will be sent to the address listed in the “Send notification to” field. If left blank, it will be sent to the individual listed under “Contact information.”
All donations will go towards the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation to benefit and provide resources to Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control’s efforts.