An 8-year-old boy sold his Pokémon card collection to raise money for his sick puppy’s treatments

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Bryson Kliemann’s dog, Bruce, is not pictured. John Keeble/Getty Images, JovasPhoto/Getty Images
  • 8-year-old Bryson Kliemann sold his Pokémon card collection to pay vet bills for his sick puppy.
  • Kliemann sold the cards on his front lawn in Lebanon, Virginia, and raised $400 in two days.
  • With help from his mom and neighbors, they raised thousands more, and the puppy is healthy again.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An 8-year-old boy who has been collecting Pokémon cards since he was 4 was willing to let them all go to save his puppy, Bruce.

Bryson Kliemann lives in Lebanon, Virginia, where he set up a stand on his front lawn on May 4 with a sign reading “Pokémon 4 Sale” – all to raise money for Bruce’s vet bills, according to a story in The Washington Post by Sydney Page.

Bruce is a 4-month-old Labrador mix with parvo, a contagious virus that can be deadly if left untreated, Page wrote in The Washington Post.

Kliemann’s mom, Kimberly Woodruff, told Page for The Washington Post that she took Bruce to Southwest Virginia Veterinary Services because he wasn’t eating or coming out of his crate. She then learned that Bruce’s vet bills would add up to at least $655 – more than the family could afford to pay, she said in The Washington Post’s story.

“He is our first family dog,” Woodruff told Page. “I really didn’t realize how expensive it could be until this happened.”

When Kliemann reportedly overheard his parents having a conversation about the bills, Woodruff told The Washington Post he came up with the idea to sell his Pokémon cards to help pay for Bruce’s care.

Making $400 in the first two days, Kliemann sold the cards for between $5 and $10 each depending on value, and some neighbors just donated money, according to The Washington Post.

“Christmas, birthdays, any holiday you get gifts on, that’s what he asks for, and that’s what he gets,” Woodruff said of Kliemann’s collection of hundreds of Pokémon cards.

Neighbors brought their own card collections to help Kliemann replaced the ones he had sold, according to The Washington Post. According to the same article, a Pokémon employee also sent Kliemann rare Pokémon cards to help recover his collection.

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People playing with Pokémon trading cards. Photo by Achim Scheidemann / picture alliance via Getty Images

The Pokémon card game was first released in 1999, as Insider previously reported. Since then, the cards have released more than 74 sets and 9,000 cards in the United States. The card game was a hit among fans from its early years, and RealBreakingNate, a YouTuber who makes videos about Pokémon, told Insider in 2021 the card boom is even bigger now than it was in the ’90s.

Woodruff told The Washington Post that once she saw her son selling his collection of trading cards, she created a GoFundMe page for Bruce’s treatment.

The GoFundMe account raised more than $15,000, and Woodruff told The Washington Post. Woodruff said in the same article that so far, she’s used the GoFundMe money to help three other local families pay their veterinary bills, and Bruce is healthy at home.

Representatives for Pokémon did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.