MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Marshall County commissioners made history Wednesday by approving a renovation bid for the county’s first-ever animal shelter.
“Marshall County is 200 years old and never had an animal shelter in 200 years. So, this is the first time,” said commission chairman James Hutcheson.
While the county has not had a true animal shelter, it has been meeting the spirit of the law.
“They met that requirement by paying vets to board dogs and what happened was, they boarded the dogs for seven days and if they weren’t adopted or picked up by their owners they were put down,” said animal shelter technician Mary Harris.
Harris told WHNT News 19 that was the case until two and a half years ago when they started using a building to house dogs.
The county officially bought what will soon be renovated into a proper shelter in March 2019.
But it has a few issues including unsealed concrete flooring and poor drainage.
“The ones that are in the building now, they’re just drains in the floors that go to two septic tanks and those drains stay stopped up most of the time and besides all that, when the concrete was poured, it wasn’t poured in a manner so that water flowed down to the drains. Sometimes it was poured so that the water ended up having to flow up to the drains which makes it a very difficult problem when you’re cleaning,” explained Harris.
They plan to fix up the crumbling ceiling insulation and indoor/outdoor runs for the dogs to make life a little better for the 500 to 600 dogs they take in each year.
“We’ve been a no kill county, Marshall County has, since 2014, so I’d like to keep us that way. Can you save every animal? No, you can’t save every animal. You’ve got certain ones that are mean or sick,” said Hutcheson.
Harris said they will add 35 more kennels, a cat area, treatment and quarantine areas, plus an office space.
She told WHNT News 19 it will be everything they need.
“I know we’ll have growing pains, no doubt, but we’ve got to start somewhere, and this is a tremendous start,” said Harris.
The bid was awarded to Complete Construction in Albertville for $298,250.