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     Clay County Animal Shelter  Our mission is to fight animal cruelty and protect animal rights through advocacy, education and rescue efforts. Working together, we are involved in many initiatives promoting respect and humane treatment of all animals.  We are a 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit, no kill shelter, located in Delta, Alabama. 

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Our Story

In 2014, Nancy Bailey and several concerned people began to establish the requirements to run a “no-kill” shelter for Clay County, Alabama.  By law each Alabama County is required to have an animal shelter.  At this time, Clay County did not have a shelter rather the County had an agreement (monetary) with Randolph County Animal Shelter and Talladega County Animal Shelter.  These Shelters would for a fee per animal plus a set yearly amount, take Clay County stray dogs and cats.  (Note:  Sharon as president of the Clay County Animal Shelter visited the Talladega County Animal Shelter and was told a “no-kill” shelter would never survive.)

Before opening in 2015, the Clay County Animal Shelter applied for and received a 501(c) 3 status as a non-profit corporation.  On September 1, 2015, the doors of the Clay County Animal Shelter opened at the former Country Aire Veterinary Clinic in Ashland, Alabama.  Because animals were already being taken in, the Clay County Animal Shelter was full before officially opening.

Until the latter part of 2022, the Shelter remained at the former Country Aire Veterinary Clinic in Ashland, Alabama.  The building was adapted for use as a shelter by volunteers and donations.  The Shelter obtained “contracts” with Clay County Commission and the Cities of Ashland and Lineville to take in stray dogs and cats transported by three government entities for a monthly fee.  Clay County citizens were also allowed to bring animals for a surrender fee based on the availability of space.  The Shelter operated on donations and the governmental contract payments.

A lawsuit was filed by a distant neighbor of the Shelter complaining about the noise, the court heard the case and found for the Shelter.  The Shelter was found exempt from the noise ordinances because the Shelter was in essence a “sub-contractor” of the Clay County government because of the contracts between the Shelter and Clay County and the city of Ashland.

The Shelter struggled to raise donations to be able to continue.  Before Nancy Bailey died, her cousin, Senator Dial, promised her to keep the Shelter operating.  Senator Dial introduced legislation which if it became law the Shelter would receive 18 percent of tobacco tax funds.  It was later changed to reflect 20 percent.  The Clay County Commission filed a lawsuit to have the new law that had been passed declared unconstitutional.  The lawsuit with all the appeals taking several years.  In the interim it was very difficult for the Shelter to survive.  For a period of time the Clay County Sheriff provided inmates to work at the Shelter.  However this did not work out because some Shelter volunteers were uncomfortable with the arrangement.

The Shelter has had some luck with attracting volunteers but the number of volunteers fell short of the Shelter’s need.  Several times the Shelter had over 80 dogs and numerous cats with all animals properly cared for and loved.  Meanwhile the lawsuit continued and donations were dwindling.  One thing that helped the shelter was local adoptions and transportation of animals, mainly dogs, to rescues for adoptions.

The lawsuit was finally resolved and the Clay County Animal Shelter began receiving its portion of the tobacco tax funds.

The Shelter has been given property in Delta, Alabama, off of Lee's Bridge Road.  A ground breaking ceremony was held Friday, May 26, 2023, at the Shelter's new location - 200 Lee's Bridge Rd, Delta, Alabama.  The ceremony was open to the public

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