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Our Story


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.​

CCARE Mural 109 S. 4th Street Clay Center KS

"Rescued" mural by Whitney Kerr, 2021.

Our Vision

To make Clay County a place where all animals are treated humanely, and every pet has a loving forever home.

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Our Mission

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.

CCARE Excercise Yard 109 S. 4th Street Clay Center KS

Excercise area, renovated 2019

Our Team

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!" 


 John Rieb Jr. 

Shelter Manager

John comes with a wealth of experience in the industry, having specialized skills in animal behavior, canine breeds, hiring, retention, training, professional development, personnel records maintenance and regulatory compliance. John is excited to be stepping into this role. As a passionate pet owner, he gets most satisfaction from working with the community and continuing to enrich the lives of the pups who call our shelter a temporary home. Stop by and say hello to John anytime during business hours!

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 Brenda Case 

PM Kennel Assistant

 Now Hiring 

AM Kennel Assistant

 Kim Harding 

Behavior Specialist


 Janel Michaud 

Board President

 Preston Rook 

Vice President

 Sandy Fox 


 Chris Murchison 


 Dr. Eva Standlea 


 George Murchison 

Jack of All Trades

 Shaley Johnson 

Marketing, PR

 Trish Halstead 

Grant Writing, Publicity

 Julie Mohn 


Our Team
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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.


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 1,300 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!


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We are a proud partner of the Bissel Pet Foundation! BPF’s Partners for Pets program is designed to support shelters, rescue groups and spay/neuter organizations that are helping to reduce pet overpopulation across the United States.

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