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The Burke County Animal Advisory Board has scheduled another a public hearing for Wednesday, September 30, 2020, to further discuss proposed county breeder permits, tethering regulations and, according to the notice, “possibly an unaltered impounded animal fine”.

Local breeders, sportsmen, and dog owners are strongly encouraged to attend the hearing and continue to express your concerns (Scroll down for hearing information). 

This hearing is in response to a directive from the Burke County Commission.  In early August, the commission heard concerns from the American Kennel Club (AKC), local breeders, and sportsmen during a full commission hearing on a comprehensive proposal changing numerous county animal control laws.  As a result, the commission directed the Animal Advisory Board to work on amendments over the next 90 days.

Summary of proposal as introduced:

Breeder permits – As currently proposed, annual breeder permits would be required for anyone who intentionally or accidentally breeds a litter.  AKC opposes the concept of breeder permits, which are unnecessary, costly, and difficult to enforce.  Instead, AKC supports reasonable and enforceable laws that protect the welfare and health of all dogs and do not restrict the rights of breeders and owners who meet their responsibilities.

Among other provisions, the proposal states that this permit would allow dogs to remain unsterilized for the year.  It is believed this permit would only be required for those intending to breed, but there are questions as to whether unsterilized dogs could be kept without a breeder permit.  AKC strongly believes this provision should be clarified.

Tethering – In addition, new tethering requirements would, among other provisions, require that a 15 foot trolley be used any time a dog is tethered by means of confinement and unattended, and no unsterilized dog may be tethered unless there is also another means of confinement.  AKC agrees that dogs should never be tethered in a manner where their safety is at risk.  However, with this length requirement, it is possible a dog could become endangered or tangled.

AKC understands amendments may be offered, but has no further information at this time.  Dog owners in Burke County are encouraged to review the proposed ordinance as introduced here.

What you can do:

Dog owners, sportsmen, and breeders are urged to attend the public hearing to discuss your comments and concerns about the proposal:

Burke County Animal Advisory Board Public Hearing
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
5:00 pm
County Commissioner’s Room
110 North Green Street, Door E
Morganton, NC 28655

Seating is limited to 25 people and is on a first come, first served basis. To reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, participants will be screened, required to wear a face covering, and must sit six feet apart. 

Those attending are encouraged to bring seven copies of their comments that can be distributed to Animal Advisory Board members. 

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor this proposal.  For more information, contact AKC GR at