For years, people in Burke County have asked for an animal shelter and soon they will have one.
The county administrator tells NewsChannel 6, Tuesday night’s commission approval was the last step needed to start construction on the new animal shelter.
Construction crews already have a spot staked out on Highway 24 near Burke County EMA and Highway 25.
MMI Construction will build the animal shelter. Commissioners approved the contract during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Burke County’s Director of Animal Services, Chaddrick Parrish said the original shelter plan was smaller and could only house about 20-30 animals. He says they will now build a bigger facility.
“We will house roughly around about 60, maybe a little bit more. That’s including quarantine cases, mandatory court hold cases. We have rooms set up for puppies. We have rooms set up for kittens, then cats and then also we have kennels and double-decker kennels set up for medium to large dogs also,” Parrish explains.
Parrish says the building will cost $790,000 to build and he expects construction to take a year. Parrish also expects for the shelter to fill up fast once it is finished.
“We’re going to have to figure out a system. You know, do some adopting out. We’re definitely going to be a full blown adoption kennel for sure,” Parrish says.
Burke County’s Roads and Bridges Department will level the land, which Parrish says will save the county money. Afterwards, MMI construction will start building. Animal Services plans to hold a ground breaking ceremony once they are ready to break ground at the site.
“[We’re going to] invite the public out, different rescues and anybody who wants to join. Let them know that this is actually happening. We’re getting to that point that everybody’s been dying for,” Parrish says. “I’ve been very pleased with the progress we’ve made. Yes, it’s been slow, but between myself, the county manager and county commissioners, it’s something that we all have said that we want to do our research and do it right the first time.”
Within the next year, they will be hiring people to work in the animal shelter and also more officers to go out, enforce county ordinances and pick up stray animals. We will keep you updated when they start the hiring process.