Janel Michaud is a Veterinary Technician at Court Street Veterinary Care. In 2011, Janel began to realize on a daily basis the need for an animal shelter in Clay Center. Upon finding out that the old building had been condemned, and that Clay Center had chosen to take stray animals to Concordia, she decided to try and do something to help the City of Clay Center open a shelter back up. She put a group together, called The Friends of the Clay Center Animal Shelter, and began working toward that goal.
In May 2013, with the group’s fundraising efforts and the help of private donations, Friends of the Clay Center Animal Shelter reached their goal of raising $65,000. Discussions with the city progressed, and the group decided to take a different direction. For the benefit of the animals and all of Clay County, they decided to be a privately ran shelter that works with the City of Clay Center and Clay County. The City Council supported the decision. The group chose their name, CCARE, Clay County Animal Rescue and Education Center.
Some of our faithful board members! Not Pictured: Trish Halstead and Shaley Johnson.
Clay County Animal Rescue & Education Center, Inc. has been a dream now for nearly five years. We are finally proud to say that our doors will be opening very soon!
2015 was a very busy year for us, we started off with obtaining our 501©3 at the beginning of the year. This was a huge step for us, with lots of hard work paying off! We started renovating the building at 109 S. 4th St., in February. Bloom Construction has been our general contractor and a huge help in our renovation process.
Overall, we have battled those hurdles and are working ever diligently to move forward. There have been quite a few community members that have volunteered their time to help us with renovations, which in turn has helped us cut costs. Most of our demolition work, painting, and installing of the kennels was all done through volunteer time and effort!
It has truly been a labor of love for those of us on the CCARE board.
We are officially open! Currently, we will only take in dogs, but long term hopes are to be able to take in cats as well. There are also goals of educational programs for children and adults in the community, a public dog park, the implementation of a spay/neuter program with the help of grants, and more. We dream big here at CCARE!
Being able to help our community and Clay County with their stray dog populations will be a benefit for so many, for both our four-legged and two-legged friends! Fundraising efforts will continue long after CCARE opens its doors. There will always be animals in need. Lastly, we are eternally grateful for the businesses, citizens and the entire Clay County community and all they have done for our cause.