For the last two years, Brad and Susan Allen have been running the Macon County Humane Society out of their home. Extending from their living room and dining room to the property the family owns next door, there are times when the couple houses up to 100 dogs.
The Macon County Humane Society was founded in 2003, but when the woman who was running the shelter out of her home couldn’t do so anymore, the Allens took over.
Since that transition about two years ago, the shelter has outgrown the space at their home. The Allens are hoping to raise money this year to build a $100,000 shelter on their property.
For now, the Allens spend time at home caring for the dogs. Susan works a full-time job at Auburn University and Brad spends all of his time between driving a school bus in the morning and afternoon caring for the dogs, who spend time in crates. With a new facility, the dogs could go in and out as they wanted and spend more time playing on the three-acre property.
“Then we can spend quality time with them,” Susan said of the new facility. “Right now we spend zero quality time with them because we are so overrun that it’s all we can do to rotate the dogs, clean the crates and feed them.”
Although the Allens can barely keep up with the demands of the shelter, they said the love of the dogs is what keeps them going. Brad said he originally began helping because it was Susan’s passion.
“I did it out of my love for Susan. It’s grown into doing it for the love of the dogs,” he said. “The dogs love you no matter what.”
Most of the expenses of the shelter come from cleaning supplies, utilities and vet bills. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club donate most of the food.
The Allens also rely on donations, which come from families like those of Theresa Morgan of Auburn.
Morgan said her son, Jackson, has asked for donations to the shelter in lieu of birthday gifts for the last three years. She said although they also support the Lee County Humane Society, they offer as much support as they can to the MCHS.
“Susan and Brad just don’t have the support or amount of donations that the Lee County Humane Society gets closer to the city and university,” she said. “Our thought was that bringing the donations there might help some animals that may not normally get the attention.”
The Allens say the welfare of the animals has fallen solely on the Macon County Humane Society. The county has a pound and a compliance officer, but the pound doesn’t always pick up stray animals and the compliance officer has stopped taking their calls, Susan said.
The Allens plan to address the issue at the next regular meeting of the Macon County Commission, scheduled for Feb. 12.
Calls to the office of the Macon County Commission seeking comment for this story were not returned Thursday.
Those interested in supporting the MCHS should “like” the shelter on Facebook to find out about upcoming fundraising opportunities. For more information on how to help, visit .