Animal lovers have a chance to positively impact the lives of animals at the revamped Animal Services Center. The Burke County Animal Welfare Alliance has organized a donation drive for the new center, called the Pause For Paws. The drive is working with local businesses to bring much-needed food and supplies to the center.

Animal Services is accepting for donations of fleece or micro-fleece blankets, plastic/rubber/enrichment dog toys, plastic cat toys and new stuffed or rope toys, according to a press release from the BCAWA. The center is in need of canned dog and cat food, canned puppy and kitten food, dog treats and dry pet food. All food items must be unopened and in date. All donations must be gently-used or new.

The Center is looking for a mini-fridge at this time. According to county officials, the Animal Services is not able to accept monetary donations at this time. Officials did say that county residents donated a washer and dryer to the center.

Kelsey Smith is heading the drive for the BCAWA.

“We’re trying to make it a little bit of a happier environment for the animals while they’re there and giving them blankets and toys and comfort items, and so we’re just really thrilled to be able to help them with this and help direct those donations to them,” Smith said. “It’s great to have a community come together and try to help them out with this goal.”

Donated items can be dropped off at these locations:

Burke Animal Clinic at 1034 E. Union St., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Beanstalk Zip Lines at 701 Sanford Drive, Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3p.m.

Morganton Animal Clinic at 1345 N. Green St., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Electric Eye Smoke Shop at 3064 N.C. Highway 18 S, Monday through Sunday, 11a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sidetracked Brewery at 609 S. Green St., hours vary.

Also, the Burke County Public Library locations will be accepting donations during operating hours. Their locations are:

Valdese Public Library, 213 Saint Germain Ave. SE

Morganton Public Library, 204 S. King St.

C.B. Hildebrand Public Library, 101B Main Ave. W

Several of the businesses in partnership with the drive are offering incentives for donations. Electric Eye is offering 10 percent off of same-day purchase, and at Sidetracked Brewery donors will be entered into a drawing for a “swag bag.” Also, at Beanstalk Zip Lines, donors can be entered for a chance to win a zip line pass.

Smith said the Alliance has not put an end date on the donation drives, as the donations are needed right now. For now though, she and the Burke County Animal Welfare Alliance are just happy to help.

“It feels really good to be able to help with this,” Smith said. “I love our community and I love the way we all kind of jump feet-first when help is needed anywhere, for people or for animals.”

Since Aug. 5, the operation of the Burke County Animal Shelter, located at 425 Kirksey Drive in Morganton, has been under the control of the Burke County manager’s office.

Burke County hired three members to its staff that previously ran the McDowell County Animal Shelter. Kaitlin Settlemyre is the animal services director. Lindsay Stump is animal services coordinator, and runs the shelter’s social media, and Alicia Grindstaff is the animal services technician, according to previous News Herald article.

On Monday, Aug. 19, there will be a public information hearing introducing the new staff. The hearing will be at the Commissioners’ Meeting Room in the Burke County Services Building, located at 110 N. Green St. in Morganton. The public can meet and greet with the staff from 5-7 p.m.

The county also will hold an Animal Shelter public input session on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at the Foothills Education Center, located at 2128 S. Sterling St. in Morganton.

Johnny Casey is a staff writer and can be reached at or at 828-432-8907.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.

Recommended for you