Woman awarded $35,000 for bringing shelter's kill rate from 100 percent to 0 in one year

TAFT, Texas - A woman who left her job as an accountant to pursue her passion for animals is being awarded $35,000 after bringing her animal shelter's kill rate from 100 percent to zero.

Kayla Denney was awarded the 2019 National Unsung Hero Award by Petco for her accomplishment.

According to a release from Petco, Denney now leads the City of Taft Animal Control Department, where almost all animals were euthanized.

Within a few months of starting her work there, and despite serious underfunding, she transformed the department, according to the release.

She told KZTV she started in November of 2018. As of Nov. 1, 2019, she said the department has saved 565 dogs and cats in Taft.

She said the $35,000 will directly help improve the conditions of her shelter.

“It’s an older shelter and its run down,” Denney told KZTV. "“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 meet and greet out in the field and somewhere, they can have grass time rather than just cement time.”