Woman wins $35,000 for saving hundreds of animals by turning her local shelter into a no-kill zone

**Embargo: Corpus Cristi, TX** Kayla Denney has devoted her career to saving every dog's life that she can, and for that she's being awarded the 2019 National 'Unsung Hero" Award by Petco. By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

(CNN) -- The shelter dogs and cats in Taft, Texas, have one woman to thank for saving their lives.

Kayla Denney has won the 2019 Petco Foundation Unsung Hero award for taking her local shelter from an almost 100% kill rate to zero.

"As of November 1st, we have saved 565 dogs and cats out of Taft," Kayla Denney told CNN affiliate KZTV.

The chief of police appointed Denney as the City of Taft Animal Control Department's lead animal control officer to help bring the shelter back to life in November 2018.

At the time the kill rate for the animals was almost at 100%. The shelter had no electricity and the animals were helpless to their fate.

That's when Denney took matters into her own hands, and began to ask for donations from her Facebook friends and it exploded from there.

"I had over 800 boxes delivered, and the some that we had to move to make room so we could walk in here," Denney said in her Petco winner's video.

Denney was nominated to Petco and received $10,000 in February for being one of five finalists. Winning the grand prize grants her another $25,000 that she said will all go back into the shelter.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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