Kayla Denney is a superhero when it comes to saving animals. Since taking over the animal shelter in Taft, Texas last November, she’s managed to transform the shelter from a place with a 100 percent kill rate to a zero percent kill rate.
And for that feat, she’s being awarded the 2019 National “Unsung Hero” award by Petco. “As of November 1st, we have saved 565 dogs and cats out of Taft,” Denney said.
Each dog that has passed through the shelter since she started her tenure has found a forever home.
Out of thousands of nominees, Denney made the top 5 in February and was awarded $10,000. Now that she’s won first place, she’s getting an additional $25,000. Denney says she’s putting the money directly into the shelter in order to improve conditions.
“It’s an older shelter and it’s run down,” she said. “We got lights thanks to a donor who put in electricity for us, but I want indoor-outdoor kennels with a guillotine in between so when it’s raining we can put them inside. We want an area where they can have a meet and greet out in the field and somewhere, they can have grass time rather than just cement time.”
Denney said didn’t even know she had been nominated.
“It still just blows my mind that that’s still a thing.”
Hopefully, with the winnings from the “Unsung Hero” award, Denney can transform the shelter into the kind of space the animals feel at home in—that is, until they find their forever homes.