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Hartselle Enquirer

Impounded animals find new shelter to their liking

Morgan County Animal Control Services staff members are (Front, L-R)) Jack Phillips and Cory Henson (Back, L-R) Rita Stinson, Claudia Ray and Jim Estes.

If dogs and cats could talk they’d be singing praises to the Morgan County Commission and Animal Control Services Depart-ment about the new shelter in Hartselle.
The $800,000 facility opened last Wednesday and hosted a ribbon cutting and open house observance the following day.
“We stood back and had a big laugh after we put the first group of dogs in their kennels,” Claudia Ray, Animal Services director, said. “Most of them were lying on their bellies and staring back at us as if to say ”thanks for the comforts of a new home.’”
“This is great for Morgan County and there is no debt—everything is paid for,” Commission Chairman John Glasscock said. “It provides a cleaner, healthier atmosphere for the animals and should boost the adoption rate. In the future, we hope to open up a dog park where volunteers can come and walk the animals.”
“We now have more space and better facilities to take care of the animals that are brought in,” Ken Livingston, District 2 commissioner said. “With a healthier environment, including in-the-floor heating during winter months, we hope more of them will be adopted. This is a good investment for the county.”
The shelter consists of 22,000 sq. ft. of climate-controlled floor space, has 48 dog kennels and will soon have 30 kennels for cats. Separate quarters are provided for new arrivals, those under quarantine and those that are ready for adoption. A grooming room is also provided.
“What started several years ago as a cooperative venture with the City of Hartselle has come full circle,” District 3 Commissioner Don Stisher said. “Its a first class facility—one we all can be proud of.”
Architect Fred Underwood added, “This is pretty much state of the art. It’s designed to make maintenance easier and give better care to the animals.”
“It’s our dream come true,” said Ray who has cared for impounded animals for nearly 17 years. “There’s no comparison between this shelter and the one we were in before. We’re now able to provide better care for the animals and put more focus on finding good homes for them.”
The shelter’s hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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