Burke County Sheriff's Office


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Animal Control

The Burke County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Division is staffed with four deputies having full powers of arrest, and a shelter coordinator. In February of 2001, the county of Burke purchased the Animal Shelter facility on Kirksey Drive from the city of Morganton. Burke animal control deputies are stationed in this building along with Morganton animal control officers. Animal Control is inundated with calls concerning stray and vicious animals. In a recent audit of the telephone system, an average of fifty telephone calls per day were received, with approximately seventy-five percent of those calls requiring a service call by an officer.


An animal control deputy's work day is very tedious and has numerous variables. It may consist of setting up rabies clinics, cage traps to snare stray dogs and cats; picking up a litter of unwanted puppies from an abandoned house; retrieving stray animals and transporting them to the shelter; speaking with citizens about a neighbor's vicious pet; interviewing persons who have been bitten by an animal; or investigating reports of cruelty to animals and taking charges against the perpetrator. 



Unfortunately, the afternoon culminates with the euthanasia of vicious animals and animals deemed "non-adoptable." Approximately fifteen to twenty animals are euthanized daily at the animal shelter. The Burke County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Division has undergone extensive training in euthanasia methods and is now certified to administer lethal injections, thereby eliminating the standard "gas chamber" that many animal control facilities use.


The Animal Control Division stresses the need for the public to have their pets spayed or neutered. They also advocate for the adoption of dogs and cats and work closely with the non-profit organization "Burke County Friends for Animals." This organization is pro-adoption oriented and attempts to find homes for unwanted animals. They may be contacted at (828) 433-1115. Their website, which has information and photos of adoptable dogs and cats, may be accessed at: http://www.burkecountyfriends4animals.org/.


The Animal Shelter can be reached at (828) 438-5465.


Note: The Animal Control Division does not handle wildlife calls (i.e. skunks, deer, raccoon, etc.) unless a person or domesticated animal has been bitten by the wild animal. To report a problem with a wild animal, please contact North Carolina Wildlife at 1-(800)-662-7137.