Texas woman recognized for bringing shelter’s kill rate from 100 percent to zero in one year

The Taft Animal Shelter in Texas was filled with hope and sunshine when Kayla Denney, an animal control supervisor, appeared at their doorstep. Denney came to help the animals and within five months, she brought the shelter’s 100 percent kill rate to zero percent.

When Denney first came to the shelter, it looked like a “very hot mess”. The animal shelter was old and didn’t have volunteers or even a Facebook page. Because it had a very limited budget, there was no electricity and there was only one hose to clean the kennels. Worst, they had what Denney called “the blue juice” to euthanize the animals.

An animal control supervisor Kayla Denney with her nomination prize.
Kayla Denney

According to Chief of Police John Cornish, the shelter killed animals every Wednesday but they hoped to make it a no-kill animal shelter.

Their vision only came to life when they met Denney. Using her personal Facebook account, she asked help from friends and started receiving donations. She immediately bought supplies for the shelter and made sure all the animals would be looked after by volunteers.

The animals that used to be locked all the time now enjoy fresh air and sunshine as they get walked by volunteers often.  Thanks to Kayla Denney, a kind-hearted animal control supervisor who goes out of her way to assure the welfare of all the animals in the shelter.

Dogs at Taft Animal Shelter rescued by an animal control supervisor.
Kayla Denney

Since Denney started this project, she and the volunteers were able to save hundreds of animals and the “kill day Wednesday” was no longer a part of the shelter.

Not only did Denney turn the animal shelter around and saved the animals but she also helped people in the community learn how to better take care of their pets. “Here in Taft, they’re really starting to see that I am not here to pick up their animals and take them away. I’m here to make sure the animal is taken care of but so is the person with the animal,”

Of course, Denney’s hard work and dedication paid off as she won Petco Foundation’s “Unsung Hero Award where she will be given $25,000 on top of the $10,000 she won as one of the finalists.

Kayla, an animal control supervisor, with a rescue dog.
Kayla Denney

Denney said she didn’t know she was nominated and the fact that she won against thousands of applicants still blows her mind. The prize she received will go to Taft Animal Shelter as it needs a lot more improvements.

She has big plans for the shelter and she will need the support of the community. She was happy about the recent developments in the shelter such as electricity. As of now, they need indoor kennels so they can put the animals inside when it’s raining. They also hope to have an area where the volunteers and animals can meet and greet, letting the animals enjoy the grass instead of cement.

Dogs are out from the shelter
Kayla Denney

Denney hopes winning the Unsung Hero Award is just a minor step in her journey to saving animals and helping animal shelters.

Are you like Kayla Denney, an animal control supervisor who would go out of your way for a great cause? What can you do for your love of animals?

If you liked this story, feel free to share it with your family and friends. Also, watch this video to witness Denney’s amazing journey in saving the lives of hundreds of animals: