Clay County Animal Rescue & Education Center (CCARE) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), volunteer-driven organization dedicated to rescuing, caring for and adopting out homeless dogs into loving and responsible forever homes. We educate the public on respect for all animal life, including the importance of feral animals being spayed or neutered in order to reduce their numbers in our communities.
Our organization goes beyond the confines of shelter walls to build an extensive network of knowledgeable, experienced, talented and caring individuals who share these common goals.
"Rescued" mural by Whitney Kerr, 2021.
To make Clay County a place where all animals are treated humanely, and every pet has a loving forever home.
To improve the lives of animals in our communities, find permanent and loving adoptive homes, provide a safe haven for animals in transition, serve as advocates for them and their people, work to end overpopulation and educate the public about compassion and responsibility towards all animals. A place where all animals are evaluated, medically treated, rehabilitated when needed and euthanized only out of necessity based on quality of life needs.
Excercise area, renovated 2019
From board meetings, to countless fundraisers, to working tirelessly at the shelter, our crew is together a lot! We are so lucky to have 10 committed and caring members, who contribute in such unique and important ways. When times are tough, we support one another, we give our time and efforts, and most importantly - we always find a way. "Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!"
Alley is our shelter manager and full-time employee! She is responsible for the direct day-to-day operations of the organization, and oversees all aspects of animal care, staff management and financial management associated with intake and outtake of animals. She was hired in the spring of 2022, and we've loved having her on our team!
Stop by our shelter anytime during business hours and say hello to her!
Dr. Eva Standlea
Jack of All Trades
Grant Writing, Publicity
How CCARE Came To Be
Janel Michaud is a Veterinary Technician at Court Street Veterinary Care. In 2011, she began to realize the need for an animal shelter in Clay Center. Upon finding out that the old building had been condemned, and that Clay Center was taking 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.
Celebrating six years of open doors, CCARE has accomplished a lot. After purchasing the building in the fall of 2014, CCARE continued fundraising and started lining up contractors. Most of the demolition work, projects, daily dog care and more was completed with volunteer time and effort! It has been and continues to be a labor of love for the volunteers and those of us on the CCARE board.
On March 1, 2016, we opened our doors and since have taken in and re-homed over 1,100 dogs. We are a grateful, thankful, successful no-kill shelter. CCARE is a community-supported, well-respected organization which prides itself on top-notch care for the animals, and quality education programs for the citizens of Clay County.
The big goals we’ve recently completed:
Expansion and renovation of our exercise area
Painting of our building’s exterior with new guttering
Purchase of a transport van
Construction an overhang across the front sidewalk of the building
Completion of a beautiful mural as part of the Mural Movement in our community
Our future goals include a trap-neuter/spay-release program for the stray cat population in the city of Clay Center, a cat room with the ability to take in domestic cats, emergent veterinary care for homeless and owned animals, foster and education programs, and so much more. Many of these projects have committees organized – plans are underway!
We are eternally grateful for the businesses, citizens and the entire Clay County community and all they have done for our cause. We can’t thank you enough!