No Pets Among New Marshall County Storm Shelter Rules

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- The Marshall County Commission has passed a new set of rules governing what can and can't be done inside community storm shelters.

Bright red letters on Marshall County's community storm shelters spell out two words that might have a lot of people cringing when storms hit and they head to those shelters for cover -- no pets.

Marshall County leaders say when the storms hit a few weeks ago people came with their pets anyway, among other items that could have caused issues.

So the Marshall County Commission voted on a set of rules for each shelter.

Commission Chair James Hutcheson says number one on the list is no pets. "I understand people's concerns over the pets, but we just can't allow people with pets," Hutcheson says.

He says allowing pets could be a liability if someone gets bitten, and if you allow one, you have to allow all of them. "If you allow somebody to come in with a small lap dog then you have to allow somebody with a pit bull dog, a German shepherd. It becomes a liability issue for the county."

Service animals are an exception to the rule, Hutcheson says.

Other rules include no weapons, alcohol, smoking, profanity and each person is only allowed one bag.

So why are they now just implementing these rules? Well, Hutcheson says most of those storm shelters are newly constructed. "This is basically the first year we got all of them installed and we didn't have any rules, and you need rules for a public facility like this."

All the rules are effective immediately.


  • Steve Fuller

    Animals can be replaced human life can’t be. That’s a good rule for us because my son is allergic to dogs and highly allergic to cats. Most would be surprised at what people would bring to these shelters if no rules were set.

  • soldier

    how about banning stinky people who don’t bath for weeks at a time and make it a place just for politicians and wealthy people. if my little dog can’t come then i’ll ride it out at home. and who is going to stop me from bringing my pet. will there be someone at each of these shelters to say who or what is allowed and who or what ain’t. the county commission…lol

  • David

    Plenty of places like hotels allow small pets only, or require pets to be in carriers. Keep some folding cardboard carriers for people who don’t have time to get one. Banning all pets will keep many people from using the shelters, which is why I think the federal funds should have been used for private shelters in places like trailer courts.

  • American

    “No weapons” I guess we should leave them behind for the non law abiding looters . How brutishly ignorant ! We still have a 1st and 2nd ammendmant !

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