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From left, Erin Stringfellow, Londyn Cambre and Natalie Bennett, of Cadette Troop 10331, present a cat tree to the Denham Springs Animal Shelter. Taking part in the project but not pictured is Lillie Hauptman.

Provided photo

Members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 10331 of Denham Springs earned their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award available for Girl Scout Cadettes, by building a cat tree for the Denham Springs Animal Shelter in September.

The Silver Award recipients are Natalie Bennett, Erin Stringfellow, Londyn Cambre and Lillie Hauptman. Project advisers are Melissa Bennett and Mary Stringfellow.

The Girl Scout troops’ love for animals drove the girls to help the shelter, which received 6 feet of water in the August 2016 flooding, a news release said. The shelter lost its cat trees in the flood and needed more since the recovery.

“The Denham Springs Animal Shelter is in the heart of our community,” Bennett said. “I love the shelter because they helped me get two dogs, and I needed to help them.”

The cadettes brainstormed with the shelter’s director about its immediate needs, and they concluded that the cat tree was most important because the cats did not have anywhere to rest and play.

In order to raise money for tools and materials, the cadettes hosted a tea party and received wood and carpet donations from local businesses.

The girls watched YouTube tutorials for building steps and to help them select their final cat tree design, which includes a hanging feather toy for cats to play with. They learned new skills such as carpentry, tool use and staining to complete the project in September.

Once the tree was completed, the girls delivered it to the Denham Springs Animal Shelter where one cat quickly jumped on the tree and another played with the feather.

The Girl Scouts also created awareness about the shelter’s needs since the flood. The group designed a flyer for other Girl Scout troops, school organizations and clubs, challenging them to build a cat tree or donate cat condos, feral cathouses, and food for cats and dogs.