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The Burke County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing for TOMORROW (Tuesday, April 18) on a proposal that would significantly change the laws regarding kennels, including requiring anyone who has more than 10 domesticated animals (any household pets) on their property to register with the county and open their homes for unannounced inspections during business hours.

Burke County residents are encouraged to contact the commissioners and also consider attending tomorrow’s public hearing (scroll down for hearing and contact information).


Current county law defines a “commercial kennel” as someone who engages in the business of boarding, training, grooming, or breeding more than 6 domesticated animals (defined as “dogs, cats, and other generally accepted household pets”), or someone who “engages in the business” of selling more than one litter of animals at one time. 

Those who met this definition would have to apply for a kennel permit, but exceptions were made for animals that were household pets; kept for hunting or tracking; kept for shows, obedience or field trials; and those kept for protection or guarding. 

Summary of Changes:

The proposed law would expand this to anyone who keeps more than 10 domestic animals over the age of 4 months on their property for any reason or sells more than one litter at a time- the only exemption that remains is for hunting or tracking.  This could be a combination of animals considered domestic pets and does not just include dogs and cats.

Anyone meeting this definition must apply to the zoning board for a kennel “conditional use” permit, which must be approved prior to someone being able to have a “kennel”, and the county may at its discretion add “reasonable conditions” to the approval.  This is not defined.   

All approved kennels are subject to inspection during normal business hours.

The AKC is concerned with this proposal because it would now definitely include private residents, and require pet owners to obtain a conditional use permit or go under the 10 animal limit before the law goes into effect.  This violates private property rights and also could significantly expand the shelter population in the county.  Assuming the kennel permit is approved, it is unknown what other “reasonable conditions” would be included, nor what happens if someone is not home during business hours and the county comes to inspect the “kennel”. 

What You Can Do:

Join fellow dog enthusiasts to attend tomorrow’s public hearing and express your concerns:

Burke County Board of Commissioners – Public Hearing
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
6:00 pm
County Services Building, Commissioners’ Meeting Room
110 N. Green St., Morganton, NC

Contact the members of the Burke County Board of Commissioners prior to tomorrow’s hearing:

Commissioner Jeffrey C. Brittain, P.E. (Chairman)

Commissioner Johnnie Carswell (Vice Chairman)

Commissioner Maynard M. Taylor

Commissioner Wayne F. Abele, Sr.

Commissioner Scott Mulwee

For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at