No Pets Among New Marshall County Storm Shelter Rules

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.

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