By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 18, 2019 at 6:28 PM

Emma Mertens, the little girl from Hartland who loved dogs so much she asked for "letters from dogs" to cheer herself up from the pain and sadness of cancer, passed away on Sunday.

Emma, who was 8 years old, passed away at home in her mother's and father's arms. In January, she was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable form of brain cancer.

After her request for canine correspondence went viral, Emma received dog photos, letters and cards from all over the world. In March, police and their K-9 companions from throughout Wisconsin paraded down the street in front of her home. The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha awarded her last spring with the 2019 Diana Boettcher Youth Community Kindness Award.

In August, Emma and her family founded the Emma Loves Dogs Foundation. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to organizations that share Emma’s passion for helping animals, particularly dogs.

"Through all of this battle, all Emma wanted to do was spread kindness and help animals," reads her Facebook page.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.