The New Vance County Animal Shelter

For: Vance County Animal Shelter
Organizer: Emily Nichols
The New Vance County Animal Shelter (Vance County Animal Shelter)
of $1,600,000 goal
2% Complete
Raised by 259 donors

The Story

To learn more about the Vance County Animal Shelter, please visit

My friend, Shannon, recently told me about the devastation that exists in rural shelters in the south. I, being from Boston, thought: "how bad could it be?" Then I went to Vance County Animal Shelter to drop off a box of donations. I was immediately shocked just driving into the parking lot. The size of the building, the tarp-covered kennels out back--it was very unfamiliar to me. I adopted my first dog from a shelter in Boston which rescues dogs from the south, from shelters just like this one. It was devastating to see the kind of place where my dog likely came from and knowing that so many others will walk that hall, hoping to go home with a loving family. Or worse, spend their final days in that setting.

Once I went inside, I was blown away. The dark cinderblock kennels, the lack of airflow and rusty industrial fan at the end of the hall, the wire crates stacked in the hall for cats and kittens, the smell of bug spray and dirt, the sad dogs sitting in the dark corner of their kennel, the squeaky plastic screen door that seemed misplaced--it was a lot for an animal lover to take in. Let me say, the staff members (all 5 of them, crammed in one office...the same office in which they perform medical procedures and intake exams) were incredibly appreciative and kind and compassionate people. They want better for the animals but are bound by the lack of funding in a poor community. They talked to me about their community, the animals that come in there, the rescues who  they work with, their elimination of the gas chamber, and their plans for a new facility. A shelter where they can fit all of the homeless animals that never stop coming, one that has proper airflow to keep everyone comfortable, one that people aren't saddened by just walking in to.

I drove away from the shelter and couldn't get my mind off the sadness I felt by being there. I looked in my rear view at the shelter and saw my two rescue dogs in the back seat and thought about how fortunate they were to have found a home. I couldn't stop thinking about how badly I wanted to help them and help those poor, depressed animals. I wish I could come up with some magic solution to save all homeless and abused animals--but until that day comes, I'm hoping to raise enough money to at least help improve one of the numerous rundown rural shelters. 

Any donation you can provide will go a long way in a place like Vance County. The current plans for the new shelter are as follows:

  • 5 Acres of land was donated by the Boyd family
  • The plans have been drawn up for an approximate 7,000 sq ft building
  • A sign has been erected in the new location
  • Vance County has not specified how much they are able to contribute

Even if you can't donate right now, please adopt, foster or volunteer at your local shelter--you will save lives.

---------------------------------- DISCLAIMER -----------------------------------------

**All funds raised here will go directly to the Vance County Animal Shelter. Should there be any issues with the shelter not being built, all funds will still go towards the animals and renovations of the existing building. If you are donating directly to the shelt by way of check, please add "For New Animal Shelter" in the memo line of your check.

**Photos courtesy of Mary Shannon Johnstone**

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 15, 2016

Posted on September 15, 2016

Well. We've done it folks! The NEW Vance County Animal Shelter will OPEN in 11 DAYS! The shelter is absolutely amazing! There will also be an official Open House for the new shelter on October 1st from 10-2pm with a ribbon cutting ceremony and we welcome everyone to come check out what we've done as a community. The new shelter will feature all indoor kennels, a waiting room (which doesn't seem like a big deal but if you've been to the current shelter you will understand how great a waiting room is), cat and dog visitation rooms and more...and we'll even have a cool cat exercise wheel! Thank you to everyone who's donated, you've made our dreams come true!!

Check out the progress of the new shelter here

Posted on May 22, 2016

Posted on May 22, 2016

As always, a GIANT 'THANK YOU' for all of your donations. In combination with donations sent directly to the shelter, WE have raised more than $55,000! Without your support, this would not have happened. This weekend I visited the shelter for an update and we'really looking at September 2016 as the opening for the brand new shelter! We will continue to take donations of money and goods for the new shelter. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer or being updated by email on what's going on, visit Thank you again and spread the word!

Posted on January 9, 2016

Posted on January 9, 2016

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and the new year is off to a happy start. Since it's a new year, I think a great way to start the year is with some AMAZING news. You guys did it...we ALL did it!! Your donations have made the new shelter a reality. A big pat on the back to you guys for being part of change. And a big thank you to Frankie, Billy, William, Chris and Tracey at the shelter for their hard work and dedication and for fighting for this to happen. January 21st there will be a ground breaking ceremony on Brodie Rd in Henderson, the site of the new shelter and the building will start in February. 

Again, THANK YOU to everyone who believed this could happen--you made this a reality for the animals. Let's see what else we can make happen! Keep donating and sharing this fundraiser, all the funds will continue to help pay for the new shelter supplies.

Read more about the new shelter @

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