New animal rescue facility will make its home in Madison County this year


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OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. - Felines & Canines Inc. is a Chicago-based animal shelter which set its sights on north Alabama in hopes of saving thousands of our local shelter pets.

They already take on some of our areas most challenging rescues to give them homes in the north. Now, they are expanding their services to north Alabama in the form of a "halfway house."

"As fast as we can get this funded, we can operate," said Bethany Marbut, Executive Director of Felines & Canines Rescue Center.

Around $650,000 is what stands between a shelter stay and a loving home for more than 3,000 animals per year.

"The rescue facility will house 90 to 100 dogs and up to 50 cats," Marbut said. "They will be housed in an indoor, temperature-controlled environment and then we'll have a small adoptable area."

Those accommodations will make up the new Felines & Canines Rescue Center opening this year in Owens Cross Roads. The rescue has a contract on a property off of Highway 431.

"We often get animals, they're wonderful animals, but for whatever reason whether it be age or breed or color are just overlooked and not adopted," Marbut said. "Those are the animals that adopters in Chicago are looking for."

Felines & Canines Inc. is based in Chicago. It takes transports from the south and places them in homes in the north. Their new venture is south of the Mason-Dixon line.

"The need to expand down into the south and provide basically a halfway house where they can get animals out of the overcrowded shelters and into a rescue center facility to be held to make sure that they're well enough for transport," Marbut said of Felines & Canines Inc.'s mission. "To receive the needed vaccines."

The future rescue center will help relieve some stress from our local shelters.

"We want to support owner surrenders in the community before they even have to go into the shelter environment," Marbut said.

The new facility's policy is no animal is to be euthanized under any circumstances other than extreme suffering or the animal poses a threat to society.

Felines & Canines Rescue Center's 8,000 square foot facility needs $850,000 to purchase the building and complete renovations. The organization has already raised more than $210,000.

If you, or your business, would like to donate, visit

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