The Burke County Animal Services Center is asking commissioners to allow it to charge rescues a fee for pulling animals from the facility. Commissioners are expected to make a decision on the request at their Oct. 15 meeting. 

Animal rescues could end up having to pay a fee to take animals from Burke County Animal Services Center.

A request to charge rescues pull fees is expected to be on the county commissioners agenda for the board’s Oct. 15 meeting. Currently, rescues pull animals for free from the county shelter.

Kaitlin Settlemyre, director of Burke County Animal Services, told commissioners during a pre-agenda meeting on Tuesday that she wants to implement intake protocol that would include vaccinating animals that come into the center against common diseases, but that comes with expenses. The pull fees would help offset that cost, she said.

For cats, she’s proposing they receive the vaccine FVRCP, which vaccinates against three airborne viruses, including distemper, a rabies vaccine, dewormer and flea control.

Cats are proposed to have a pull fee of $12.

Kittens under 8 weeks old would receive FVRCP and a dewormer and have a pull fee of $5.

For dogs, Settlemyre is proposing they receive DHPP, which is combination vaccine for canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Dogs also would receive vaccines for Bordetella, commonly called kennel cough, and rabies, a dewormer and flea/tick control, according to information from the county.

The pull fee for dogs is proposed at $27. Puppies under 8 weeks old would be $12.

For any animal that the animal services center has spayed/neutered would add an additional $60 to the pull fees, Settlemyre is proposing.

According to information from the county, others in the area that charge pull fees include Caldwell, Catawba, Rowan and Davidson counties.

While she is proposing pull fees for rescues, Settlemyre also is proposing lowering the adoption fee for cats to $90. The adoption fee for cats and dogs is currently $125.

On Tuesday, Settlemyre said the shelter has 42 cats and kittens.

The county animal shelter has undergone a lot of changes this year.

Management of it was moved from the sheriff’s office to the county manager and new staff was hired to operate it. It also has had a lot of work done to it, including sealing the walls and floors, cosmetic improvements and a new social media presence to try to get homeless animals adopted.

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Sharon McBrayer can be reached at smcbrayer@morganton.com or at 828-432-8946.

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(2) comments

Rhonda Petersen

The rescues in this area are the ones who pulled and saved HUNDREDS of animals from the shelter recently. They did this at their own expense because they are non-profits and rely solely on donations and fundraisers to save the animals they do. So, if you start charging rescues, then it will be a big waste of time. There are HUNDREDS of available animals already in the public that need rescuing. We CERTAINLY are NOT going to pay the county to take them, then spend our own money getting them ready. No rescue can afford this. Therefore, implementing this and the other anti-rescue changes you have in mind will only HURT, not help the animals at the shelter. Good luck!!

Jean Thorne

Rhonda, we who have been pulling from BCAS have all agreed that we don't mind reimbursing expenses incurred. The proposed fee covers expenses we would immediately incur immediately after pull. We would prefer to see the kittens safe from distemper and rabies immediately. We pulled a kitten who had distemper and we ended up with two dead babies because they were put in the same home together. Jean Thorne, Partners for Cats

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