Child sells collection of Pokémon cards to pay for puppy care

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Elia Tabuenca García

Pokémon cards are back in vogue again, and a child in Virginia recently used them to save a baby's life instead of drawing the attention of the streams.

An eight-year-old boy from Virginia recently started selling his card collection  Pok√©mon to help pay for medical treatment for a family puppy, according to a local TV report. Typically, Pok√©mon news is related to the latest games or issues with a shortage of trading cards. In this case, the franchise helped raise more than double the money in donations needed for the cause.

The dog, Bruce, has been diagnosed with parvo, a contagious canine virus. The infection left Bruce extremely lethargic. While the survival rate of the disease is around 68 to 92 percent, according to the American Kennel Club, some other symptoms can include fever, vomiting, weight loss, and weakness. Puppies are the most vulnerable dogs and need three shots to become immune, increasing the risk for Bruce.

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The boy, Bryson Kliemann, was in fact organizing his cards when he noticed Bruce was sick, explains ABC affiliate WCYB. His mother took Bruce to the vet, only to find that the treatment would cost $700, an amount the family could not afford. Bryson soon decided to set up a roadside table with a sign saying ‚ÄúPok√©mon 4 for sale‚ÄĚ. A photo of this was sent to his mother, who then shared the image on social media and ended up creating a GoFundMe account. The latter was originally aimed at $800, but donations eventually reached $1.900, the surplus going towards future vaccinations and helping the other dogs in the area. Bruce was separated from the family for a week during his initial treatment, but has since been reunited as his treatment continues.

While digital games like Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Go are often the face of the franchise, Pokémon cards have grown in popularity over the past year, in part thanks to streamers on Twitch and YouTube looking to boost ratings while stuck at home during pandemic. Some of the most popular videos involve unwrapping packages in search of rare cards. This and a general rise in the Pokémon's popularity resulted in an epidemic of scalping, even forcing Target to remove Pokémon cards from retail for security reasons. Copies of the rarest cards can sometimes command as much on eBay as entire collections.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game was released in Japan in October 1996. It was later brought to the US by Wizards of the Coast, now better known for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering. Since 2003, however, the game has been in the hands of The Pokémon Company, a joint venture between Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures. The last two are responsible for the effective development of the franchise's video games.

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