When Kayla Denney took over the animal shelter in Taft, Texas five months ago, it was—in her words—a "hot mess." The rudimentary building had no electricity, a lone hose for cleaning out kennels, and very limited supplies for taking care of the animals. What they did have was "blue juice"—the chemical injection used to euthanize animals. Every Wednesday was "kill day"—the sad solution to the problem of animals with nowhere to go and no one to care for them properly.

"The animals looked sad. The building looked sad," city manager, Denise Hitt said in a video. "So I decided we were going to make a change." She and Taft police chief John Cornish met with Kayla Denney, and came up with a plan to transform the facility into a no-kill shelter.

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If you're a social media maven, you may have noticed a bloom of animal selfies over the past few years.

A baby monkey grasps a tourist's fingers at a temple in Thailand. While many wildlife tourist sites are legitimate, an Instagram campaign is highlighting how some are more sinister in the ways they promote animal selfies. Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.

You know the ones I'm talking about — a friend or celebrity posing with a monkey on their trip to Thailand, or holding a koala in Australia, or bench-pressing a whale. (I kid. Please don't try to bench-press whales).

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Any warm-blooded animal lover knows the importance of spaying and neutering cats — what you may not know is how intensive the logistics are of pulling it off.

In 2016, Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, Minnesota, a nonprofit that works to help homeless animals find fosters or forever homes, decided to expand their program, which they describe as one of the most important that they run.

This particular initiative is a crucial one for Ruff Start because it prevents even more stray kittens from being born, thereby preventing the homeless cat community from growing even larger.

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State Farm

There are up to 10,000 puppy mills across the U.S.

That's more than enough to keep an animal lover awake at night.

Have you heard about these places? They're overcrowded and operate largely under the radar. Careless breeding practices means generations of dogs with health defects are born into unsanitary conditions, and female dogs are overbred and often killed once they are no longer of use, according to the ASPCA.

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