‘This is the biggest adoption I’ve done so far’

Denna Chivers, 11, pays for 10 adoptions at Cullman County Animal Shelter

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Denna Chivers, 11, poses for a photo at the Cullman County Animal Shelter Wednesday afternoon. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

Denna Chivers, 11, pays for 10 adoptions at Cullman County Animal Shelter

CULLMAN, Ala. – Local 11-year-old Denna Chivers’ heart is filled with love for animals, especially those at the Cullman County Animal Shelter. On Wednesday, she gave her fellow animal lovers a special Christmas gift.

“I’m paying for 10 adoptions for the dogs and cats at the animal shelter,” she smiled.

Adoption fees at the shelter are $90 for dogs and $65 for cats, meaning Chivers spent between $650-$900 for her furry friends.

Chivers has built quite the reputation being a voice for the homeless pets of Cullman County. She holds  an annual yard sale to raise funds for the shelter. While this year’s proceeds went to the 10 adoptions,  last year she was able to purchase a covered pavilion and a picnic table for the shelter’s outdoor facilities.

“I’ve always loved animals since I was very little; I’ve had them all my life and I just love them,” she said. “I want the dogs and the cats to have a forever home for Christmas. I had a big yard sale this summer and I raised $3,000. I bought four big swamp coolers (for the shelter) and then I had money left over and this is what I wanted to do.”

This is not the first time Chivers has paid for adoptions.

“I’ve done a couple of adoptions before,” she said, “but this is the biggest adoption I’ve done so far.”

Chivers is a sixth grader at Cullman Christian School, where she also plays for the Lady Lions basketball team.

“I love to bake and sew and take care of my animals at home,” she said.

Chivers has two cows, two chickens, two dogs and a cat. She said she hopes to become a veterinarian when she grows up and her dream is to work with the famous Dr. Jan Pol, star of the TV show “The Incredible Dr. Pol.”

Her mother, Beth Ann Chivers, shared, “She wrote a letter to Dr. Pol and received a hand-written letter from him back! She was very excited to have received that. Next summer she wants to go on a trip to 12 different animal shelters because she’ll be 12 years old, and she wants to stop in Michigan at Dr. Pol’s office. She wants to meet him.”

“He’s a veterinarian up in Michigan and he works on basically any animal you bring, from like an alligator to like a camel,” the younger Chivers exclaimed. “He’ll even work on an elephant! He normally does farm animals, but he does other animals too.”

Of her future, she said, “I want to keep doing it (raising money for the shelter) until I get older, because when I’m older I want to be a veterinarian. I want to work with Dr. Pol up in Michigan!”

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com