- Cullman, Alabama

January 2, 2013

Dozens of animals need home after caretaker's death

By David Palmer
The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — The unexpected death of an advocate for homeless dogs and cats left more than 30 animals homeless this week.

But with a little help from her friends, the 30 cats and four dogs kept by Dani McClain are well cared for today.

McClain, 55, died Thursday in Decatur. While she was away from home, the Cullman Police Department received a call from neighbors who were concerned because they had not seen McClain recently and had noticed some of her animals outside the home, said Rodney Banister, the police department’s animal control officer.

Upon her passing, several animal adoption groups stepped in Sunday to collect the cats and dogs to begin finding new homes for them, Banister said.

The cats and dogs at McClain’s residence were all either spayed or neutered, Banister said.

“We were going to work with her to help get the animals placed. We had never received any complaints about the number of animals at the house and they had food and water. The only problem is that none of the animals are licensed, which is a requirement in the city,” Banister said. “The city ordinance says that a spayed or neutered pet should be registered at city hall for $5 each, one time. Those that are not spayed or neutered are $20.”

Organizations such as the Morgan Foundation and Missing Links have stepped in to care for the animals and are seeking homes for them. Cindy Zak, a friend of McClain’s, said she has several of the cats, too, that will need to be adopted.

“The cats range is age from seven or eight months to a few years old. The dogs apparently will have new homes,” Zak said. “Dani cared for animals all her life and was always getting calls about people who knew of a cat or dog that needed to be cared for. There are just so many people who don’t care for their pets and Dani was always willing to help.”

McClain lived in a house on Fourth Avenue Southwest.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the animals may contact Linda Morgan at 256-7471655 or Zak at 256-590-9641.

* David Palmer may be contacted at or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.