• 50°

Looks Bright: 13-year-old sews 18 quilts for Animal Shelter comfort

LAPLACE — Madison Davis, 13, of LaPlace, spent the past four weekends and most of her Mardi Gras break carefully sewing quilted mats to make dogs and cats at the St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Shelter feel at home in their kennels.

She surprised Animal Shelter staff and volunteers Sunday afternoon when she delivered 18 quilts of varying colors and designs.

The quilts were lovingly made with help from Madison’s grandmother, Gloria Twiggs, who sparked her love for sewing last year. They varied in color, pattern and size, stretching up to six feet long, eight feet wide for larger dogs.

Madison said she made 20 quilts in total, one for her dog, one for a church friend with a pet in need and the rest for Animal Shelter staff.

“It’s always been about the pets for me,” Madison said. “I’ve always been an animal lover.”

Quilted fabric had to be thick enough to be comfortable for the animals, according to Madison, and the stitched patterns prevent the mats from bunching up when washed.

Madison Davis displays a quilt during her surprise donation visit to St. John the Baptist Parish Animal Shelter.

“The shelter here in LaPlace was kind of running out of stuff to put in the kennels,” Madison said. “They would put towels in the kennels, but they would always get dirty. It made me feel really happy (to donate the quilts) because now I know the dogs and the cats will be comfortable at night.”

Madison’s mother, Ginger Davis, said Animal Shelter employees were “pleasantly surprised and very thankful” for the donation.

“They thought that was about the nicest thing any kid that age has done for the Shelter,” Davis said.

Davis said the quilts were her daughter’s first outreach project, though their family has previously donated prepackaged hygiene kits to the homeless.

When not sewing, Madison Davis, right, enjoys spending time with friends, from left, Kaden Brumfield, Mia Ramirez and Tiera Brumfield, kneeling.

What makes Davis most proud is the time she saw Madison invest into each quilt.

“She selflessly gave up her weekends and all of her free time outside of school to finishing these so animals could feel good,” Davis said. “She is full of energy and loves to talk to people. She’s been very precocious all her life. She’s only 13, but she’s always been a little older in maturity and wanting to do things.”

The owner of four rescue animals, Madison views the Animal Shelter as a vital part of the community.

When she grows up, Madison hopes to become a marine biologist or a chemist.

“I’ve always loved the ocean, and my role model has always been Sylvia Earle,” Madison said. “I was thinking one day I’ll be exploring and I might find the cure for cancer or invent another element on the periodic table.”

In her free time, Madison enjoys sewing, reading and writing songs and stories.