In 1989, a group of concerned volunteers met to discuss the deteriorating condition of the old Hancock County Animal Shelter.
The shelter, a 30-year-old converted garage building, was not designed to humanely house companion animals. The septic system did not work, the drainage system was inadequate, there was no ventilation or cooling system, and the heating system was poor.
In addition to these problems, there were not enough cages to house the animals. Cats—male and female—were kept in a single small room. Dogs were often crowded three or four at a time in the small kennels.
Adoption rates were low, and there was no mandatory spay or neuter policy in effect.
Determined to improve the conditions at the shelter, this small group of volunteers organized under the name Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation. In 1991, they incorporated with the state of West Virginia as a non-profit animal welfare organization.
They were also granted 501(c)3 status by the IRS.
The group studied the options. After consulting with dog wardens, the humane officer, architects, veterinarians, and other animal care specialists, the Foundation decided that the most feasible, cost-efficient solution was to build a new shelter specifically designed to house companion animals. The cost was estimated to be $280,000.
By holding bake sales, yard sales, and raffles, the Foundation began to raise money to build a new building. But they soon realized that they would need additional help with the effort.
Early in 1992, the Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation approached the County Commission with a plan to place a $150,000 excess levy on the November 1992 ballot. The Commission agreed. They also promised an additional $30,000 from the dog and kennel fund as well as a county-owned site for the facility. The Foundation committed itself to raising the balance needed for construction.
Thanks to the hard work of the Foundation, the Hancock County Animal Shelter Construction Levy passed by 63% of the vote in the November 1992 election. By all accounts, this was an unprecedented event in the state of West Virginia, and perhaps even within the entire country.
Using money generated from the levy, as well as donations, grants, bequests, and other fundraisers, the Foundation and county officials proceeded with the plans for a modern, humane animal shelter. Ground was broken for the new shelter in October of 1994. On December 8, 1995, the new Hancock County Animal Shelter opened its doors to the public.
Having invested so much time and effort into raising money and passing the levy, not to mention planning and building the shelter, the Foundation approached the county commission about assuming the management of the shelter as outlined by West Virginia State law. After several months of contract negotiations, the Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation assumed the management of the new shelter on August 8, 1997.
Under Foundation management, the Hancock County Animal Shelter is a humanely operated facility. All incoming animals are evaluated, vaccinated, and wormed, cats are tested for feline leukemia, a mandatory spay and neuter policy is in effect, and adoption rates are up.
The Hancock County Animal Shelter Foundation is committed to providing the most modern, humane care to homeless animals as is possible.
We are proud to be a voice for the voiceless.
To see the adoptable pets for Hancock County Animal Shelter click here
Return to list
Hancock County Animal Shelter Location
Below is a map for Hancock County Animal Shelter, please call for specific directions.
***Note: PO Boxes will not show correctly on the map below.