A Woman Decides to Take over an Animal Shelter and Reduce the Euthanasia Rate

While numerous no-kill shelters exist across the country, some places still face the unfortunate reality of euthanizing animals when forever homes prove elusive. This predicament plagued a shelter in Taft, Texas, where the euthanasia rate was distressingly high.

In stepped Kayla Denney, a compassionate and determined animal lover who made the bold decision to leave her job to rescue those in need. The shelter she took over was in dire straits, lacking basic amenities like running water and electricity. The budget constraints and overall poor condition of the facility made it a challenging undertaking.

The shelter operated a grim “kill day” every Wednesday due to the overwhelming number of animals. Kayla, deeply moved by the situation, decided to turn things around. The community rallied behind her as she reached out to friends, coworkers, and family for supplies and funds.

Kayla’s Facebook post went viral, drawing attention from the neighborhood. In just a few days, she amassed nearly 800 boxes of essential items, including tools, pet beds, toys, and food. Volunteers flocked to support her cause, motivated by Kayla’s passion, her commitment to a no-kill policy, and her vision for a transformative change in the shelter.

The shelter’s fortunes took a positive turn, with a one hundred percent saving rate replacing the previous one hundred percent euthanasia rate. Volunteers frequented the shelter, ensuring the animals’ happiness with regular playtime.

Kayla’s extraordinary dedication earned her the 2019 National Unsung Hero Award from the Petco Foundation, along with a $35,000 reward. Rather than keeping the money for herself, she chose to reinvest it in the shelter, enhancing the comfort and well-being of the animals during their stay.

Kayla Denney’s story stands as a testament to the power of individual compassion and community support in transforming a struggling shelter into a haven for animals in need.