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Seek medical attention for the bite immediately. Your medical provider should contact Burke County Animal Control if you have been bitten, if they don’t then you contact (828) 438-5500 to report it yourself. If you decide not to seek medical treatment for the bite you must still report the bite, even if it is your own animal that has bitten you.
No but the animal is required to be quarantined ten (10) days as a public health preventative measure. The owner is allowed to get the animal back after the quarantine period is over but if the animal dies for any reason during the quarantine then it must be tested by the state lab for rabies.
An animal that has bitten someone must be quarantined at a state licensed facility. This means that you can pay to have your animal quarantined at a state license boarding facility provided they are aware they are boarding an animal for bite quarantine and are willing to do so. You must provide Burke County Animal Control with the name, address, and phone number of the facility boarding the animal. Animal control will contact the facility to verify the animal is in their care, to verify the animal is being housed by itself, to check on the animal during the quarantine period, and to inform the facility when the animal may be released from quarantine.
Bite reports are only released after the bite case has been closed which may not be until after the required quarantined period is over for the animal that bit the victim.
Bite reports can only be released to:
Tips to prevent dog bites:
If you believe your animal might be at the animal shelter the first thing you should do is come by the shelter to verify if it is in fact at the shelter. If you find your animal the shelter staff will be more the happy to help you get your animal back.
Yes, animals that are housed at the animal shelter are subject the fee schedule found below. These amounts are subject to change so please contact the animal shelter to confirm any cost to claim your animal. Costs can vary based on how and how long the animal had to be housed, how the animal came to the shelter, if citations were issued, and if the animal requires a rabies shot.
No. We do not have the space to board owned pets.
Burke County no longer requires a county license for pets.
No. We do not offer this service.
Yes, all animals that come into our shelter are scanned for microchips.
The first thing to do, after searching your neighborhood, is to visit the Burke County Animal Shelter and look for your lost pet and file a lost report at the shelter. You need to visit the shelter as often as possible to look for your pet. Only you can positively identify your lost pet, we cannot guarantee that a description you give of your pet over the phone will lead to a positive identification by our staff. The shelter takes in over 4,500 animals a year and many animals look alike.
You can also register your lost pet online at: https://www.burkenc.org/2448/Report-A-Lost-Dog-Or-Cat
The most important thing to do to prevent your pet from becoming lost is to keep your cat indoors at all times and keep your dogs on a leash or inside a secure fence when not inside the home. Your pets should always wear a collar and ID tags, including a rabies tag. Be sure to keep the contact information on the tags current.
Calls are handled on a priority basis. How quickly an officer responds to a specific call depends not only upon the priority of the call, but how many calls of a higher priority are occurring at that time. For example, calls involving immediate injury or harm to a person from an animal or an injured animal are the highest priority. Conversely, calls regarding a dog running loose in the neighborhood without posing a threat generally take much longer to respond to.
If you have a stray animal on your property, you can contact Burke County Animal Control at (828) 438-5465 to come pick the animal up. Burke Animal Control will only pick-up stray animals, if the animal is owned by the caller then it is the owner’s responsibility to bring the animal to the shelter. The animal control officers will do their best to capture stray animals but doing so may require the setting of a trap if the animal runs from people or proves to be skittish. Animals can only be picked up if they are on the property of the caller or in a public space, if a stray animal runs into a neighbor’s yard then it cannot be picked up without that property owner’s permission.
Burke County Animal Control does not pick up dead animals. If an animal is dead on a roadway you can contact the NC Depart of Transportation (828) 438-6274 to pick up the dead animal if it is a state maintained roadway or if it is a roadway inside a city limits you can try to contact that city’s public works department. If an animal is found dead anywhere else, it is the responsibility of the property owner to properly dispose of the dead animal even if they are not the owner of the animal.
If you find an injured animal you are encouraged to keep your distance, even the nicest and most docile animal can become aggressive or bite people if it is in pain. When a sick or injured animal is picked up in most cases it will be taken back to the animal shelter to be evaluated. In some circumstances it may be necessary to euthanize an injured animal due to the severity of its injuries. If the animal is wearing tags then every effort will be made to contact the owner so they can come pick it up and take it to a vet.
Under North Carolina State Law all Cats, Dogs, and Ferrets over four months of age must be vaccinated against rabies. For more information on North Carolina Rabies laws click here.
We only provide rabies shots to animal that are claimed from the shelter and do not have an up-to-date rabies shot. We do NOT provide rabies shots to the general public. Contact your vet if you animal is not current on any of its shots, especially the state required rabies vaccination.
Animals that are classified as an Owner Surrender are typically kept in the shelter for a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours. However once an animal is surrendered by its owner, it can be placed for immediate adoption.
If someone is wanting to surrender their pet they must sign the form attesting the animal is theirs as well as provide proof of ownership which can include a photographic timeline, medical records, bill of sale, etc. If they cannot provide this, the animal will have to complete a stray hold of 72-hours before being placed up for adoption.
If an animal is surrendered by its owner, the animal can ONLY be returned to the same owner that surrendered the animal. The owner will be responsible for paying any fee’s or citations when claiming the animal. However once an animal is surrendered by its owner, it can be placed for immediate adoption. Once an animal has been placed for adoption, that animal can no longer be claimed by its former owner.
Residents of Burke County are allowed to set box traps on their own property to catch unwanted cats or dogs. If a resident sets their own trap they must bring the animal to the Burke County Animal Shelter, if a trap is set by Burke County Animal Control then they will pick the animal up, or if a trap is rented from Animal Control it is the responsibility of the person who rented the trap to bring the animal to the animal shelter.
Traps for catching unwanted cats and dogs can be borrowed from Burke County Animal Control via two options:
1. Contact the Animal shelter and request a trap be set on your property. Traps are set as they become available and prioritized based on risk to public safety.
2. Visit the animal shelter and rent a trap. Traps can be rented for a $35.00 refundable deposit. Traps are rented out on a first come first serve basis
Any wild animal caught in an animal control trap must be released on the property on which it was trapped. Any wild animal caught in a property owner’s trap must be handling according to the rules and regulations set forth by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission for trapping if it is not going to be released.
No, any traps rented from Burke County Animal Control can only be used to catch cats or dogs. If you are having a problem with unwanted wildlife on your property you can purchase you own trap and trap the animals yourself provided you follow all rules and regulations set forth by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission for trapping OR you can contact a license Wildlife Damage Control Agent.
Lost or stray animals are kept at the shelter for a minimum of seventy-two (72) hours barring extenuating circumstances pursuant to NCGS § 19A-32.1 (b)(2). After seventy-two (72) hours the animal is eligible for adoption.
Once an animal is turned into the animal shelter; it can only be claimed by its owner or be adopted. If you have turned an animal in and are not its owner the only way to claim that animal is the go through the adoption process.
Emergency alerts are sent 24/7 when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These include notifications about:
You are not able to reply to texts or emails sent by Burke Alert powered by Smart911. Voice messages provide a dial-back number to an alert message which will put you in contact with the Burke County Emergency Communications Center.
Once you have signed up online at alerts.smart911.com and confirmed your contact information within the system, you will begin receiving alerts.
Follow the below steps to change your Burke Alert powered by Smart911 preferences (for example, to reduce the number of messages of a certain type, or to change the contacts used for each kind of message):
The frequency for which you receive alerts depends on the addresses you provide and the types of alerts you select to receive as well as the frequency of actual emergencies. Emergency alerts will only be sent when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. Community notifications will be sent when the criteria for sending an alert are met.
This system is not intended to bombard you with information. The County will only send you alerts about the information you select to receive. To change your alert settings, login to https://www.smart911.com/ and edit your preferences.
If a call completes and is sent to your answering machine or voice mail system, a message is left. If a phone call is not answered or busy, the system redials your number several times.
Burke Alert powered by Smart911 is Burke County’s official emergency alert and notification system. This system is used to send alerts to the public during emergencies. Burke Alert powered by Smart911 is a free service that allows you to sign up online to receive customized alerts via text message, email, and voice message.
In addition to emergency alerts, you can also choose to receive customizable community notifications. These include notifications about severe weather, safety, health, utility disruptions, major traffic incidents, and more. This service is provided by Burke County at no cost to the public; however, message and data rates may apply.
When emergencies happen, be the first to know. Burke County uses Alerts powered by Smart911 to send official, real-time alerts to the public with information about potentially life-saving actions they may need to take to keep themselves and their families safe. By signing up for Burke Alert powered by Smart911 you are taking a large step toward improving your personal safety.
When an emergency occurs that meets the criteria for sending out an alert to the public, Burke County emergency dispatchers will gather the necessary information and push out an alert to the affected area. Alerts can be sent out county-wide to everyone who has opted-in to the system, or to a specific area or neighborhood for more localized events.
This service is provided by the Burke County at no cost to the public; however, message and data rates may apply depending on your provider and phone services.
While Burke Alert powered by Smart911 is an excellent system, we cannot guarantee that you will receive notification in all cases. Disasters and emergencies are chaotic and unpredictable, and notification is dependent on external providers such as your wireless carrier or email delivery service outside Burke County’s control. Burke Alert powered by Smart911 will use several means of communications to try to ensure that should any one communications method, technology, or delivery option be unavailable to reach residents, other methods will be used to improve the likelihood that citizens will see the message.
No, your information is private and will not be used or distributed in any manner. The information that you provide is exempt from public disclosure and will be used for emergency purposes only.
Personal information provided to Burke Alert powered by Smart911 is private and only used to notify you for official Burke County communications and to support Burke County’s emergency services.Your information is not used for marketing purposes and will not be sold to telemarketers or data-mining organizations. A variety of “opt-in” mechanisms are available to ensure you are getting just the messages you want to receive, delivered via the devices and communications modes that you choose.Burke Alert powered by Smart911 utilizes the highest standards in physical and computer security technologies and conducts regular audits to ensure all information is kept secure. Privacy policies are also outlined in the Terms and Conditions you review when you sign up to receive Burke Alert powered by Smart911 notifications.
Signing up for Burke Alert powered by Smart911 is easy! Go to alerts.smart911.com and register your contact information or to update your existing Burke Alert profile.
Burke Alert powered by Smart911is available to anyone who lives, works, travels through, or visits Burke County, North Carolina. The address can be your home location, work location, or any other location you care about.
You can visit your local library to access a computer to sign up online for Burke Alert powered by Smart911.
Call our office at 828-764-9010. We will verify that you are registered to vote and that your address is correct. We will then send you a request form in the mail. Fill that out and return it to us.
Yes, those are legitimate. Several voter related agencies and party affiliates are sending out absentee request forms using their mailing lists. Feel free to fill that out and send it back to us. If you prefer one from the Board of Elections, call us and we will take care of you.
Unfortunately, we cannot track requests that are sent out. Once we receive your filled-out request, it is entered into the system and then we can verify that it has been returned.
Absolutely. Along with your absentee ballot request, we will send you a registration form to fill out and send back to us. It is imperative that the registration form be returned ASAP. Last day for new registrations is October 9th at 5pm
October 27th at 5:00 P.M. for registered voters
If returned by mail, can be postmarked November 3rd (Election Day) and received in our office by November 6th. In person drop offs must be done by November 3rd (Election Day) at 5:00 P.M.
We will start mailing out ballots on September 4th.
Yes. Simply tear up the ballot that you receive in the mail. You can go to any of the early voting sites or your designated election day polling location.
In the general election, you may vote for anyone on the ballot. It is not party specific. That only applies in primary elections (i.e. March 2020).
The absentee ballot request does not require a witness. However, once you receive your actual ballot, you will have to have 1 (one) witness on the return form. (This exception is valid for the November 3rd election only at this time)
No. Those must either be mailed back to us or returned to a staff member in the office or a poll worker at a precinct. May be returned by the voter or a near relative
No. We do not mail out any confirmations after receiving your request. You may call our office to confirm though.
Fill out all required information on Voter Search to locate which sample ballot is for you.
Pick up a form at the:
Complete and sign the form and mail it to us or you can drop it by the Board of Elections Office. We’ll send a new voter card to you!
We must have one of two documents signed by the voter (an email won’t do.) Either send us your:
Make sure you sign the card/form! We’ll do the data entry and send a new voter card to you.
If you moved less than 30 days ago, you must vote at your old precinct.
If you've moved more than 30 days ago and have not updated your information with the Board of Elections, you must go to the Board of Elections office to update your information, and then vote.
2128 S Sterling StreetSuite 100Morganton, NC 28655
This probably indicates an error in our records, of which we need to become aware. Please send us both cards back, with a quick note explaining that both cards are for the same person, to:Board of ElectionsP.O. Box 798Morganton, NC 28655-0798
We will research the situation, fix it and mail you a new card.
Please return the voter card to us along with whatever information you have. If the individual has moved, we’ll try to contact them at the new address.
Failing that, or if the individual is deceased, we’ll try to remove them from the voter registration files. Either way, you’ll be doing us a big service by letting us know.
Yes, according to the North Carolina General Statute 163-166.8.
Yes, anyone of your choice can assist you, except your employer or union agent. Also, one of the Precinct Judges can assist you.
North Carolina Law only requires ID if you did not provide the required information when you registered to vote (if by mail or voter registration drive).
No, Absentee Ballots are not available on Election Day, you must vote in your precinct.
There is a deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot. There is also a deadline to return the absentee ballot. Call the Board of Elections office for more information at 828-764-9010.
Yes, however, if you are requesting an Absentee Ballot for the Primary you may request that a General Election Absentee Ballot is sent to you as well. The Absentee Ballots will, of course, be mailed separately at the appropriate time.
Recent law changes prevent ballots from being cast at the wrong precinct. The best practice is to call the Board of Elections before going to vote. They will be able to tell you where you need to go vote on election day.
Yes, as long as you don’t leave campaign materials or campaign while in the voting location. The polling place is checked regularly for campaign materials. If they are found, they are promptly discarded.
North Carolina General Statute 163-147 prohibits loitering, congregating, distributing campaign material, or electioneering within 50 feet of the entrance to the polling place.
f you are not in the county/country on Election Day, there is no way you can vote. You would need to plan ahead to attend Early Voting or request an Absentee Ballot. See "Is it too late to request an absentee ballot?" and "Do you have to request an absentee ballot for each election?" for more information on Absentee Ballots.
The State Board of Elections and General Statutes determine the name order on the ballot.
You may be required to show ID the first time you vote in Burke County if you registered by mail, did not provide a valid identification number, and did not submit a copy of one of the following:
When you arrive at your polling place you must choose to vote Republican, Democrat, or you can decline to choose.
These limitations don’t apply during a November General Election, only in Primary Elections. In General Elections, you may vote for anyone on the ballot, regardless of party.
The North Carolina General Statutes defines the procedures for mapping precincts and locating voting locations inside the precinct. We are required to take numerous criteria into account as we develop new precincts. The boundaries drawn must be contiguous and follow a recognized boundary such as a township line, census blocks or physical features such as major above-ground power lines, major footpaths, rail features, ridgelines, roads or streets or water or drainage features as certified by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, county manager or city clerk.
Voting locations must be inside or on a tract adjacent to the precinct. It must also fit certain criteria:
We utilize as many public facilities as we possibly can to reduce rental cost but some areas, because of growth, have not caught up with the public demands such as schools or libraries.
When changing a voting location all of the criteria listed above is considered. After the Board of Elections staff completes its survey of the areas for consideration, the location changes are submitted to the Board of Elections members for approval or denial. The Board of Elections has the power to establish, define, provide, rearrange, discontinue, and combine election precincts as it may deem expedient, (GS 163-33(4)).
establish, define, provide, rearrange, discontinue, and combine election precincts as it may deem expedient,
If the Board of Elections approves the location change or split of an existing precinct, the voters must be notified no later than 45 days prior to the next primary or election. Voters involved in any district or annexation changes are also notified by voter card of those changes.
No matter what process is used to determine the precinct boundaries, not everyone will be happy with the outcome. We’ve learned this the hard way. There is, however, very little we can do with a phone complaint.
If you have any issues or concerns regarding the precinct locations, it needs to be in writing to the Burke Board of Elections, so that the matter can be fully explored and brought to some resolution when our Board is sitting in session. Our mailing address is:Burke County ElectionsP.O. Box 798Morganton, NC 28655
North Carolina General Statute 163-30 states The State chairman of each political party shall have the right to recommend to the State Board of Elections three registered voters in each county for appointment to the board of elections for that county. If such recommendations are received by the Board 15 or more days before the last Tuesday in June 1985, and each two years thereafter, it shall be the duty of the State Board of Elections to appoint the county boards from the names thus recommended.
The State chairman of each political party shall have the right to recommend to the State Board of Elections three registered voters in each county for appointment to the board of elections for that county. If such recommendations are received by the Board 15 or more days before the last Tuesday in June 1985, and each two years thereafter, it shall be the duty of the State Board of Elections to appoint the county boards from the names thus recommended.
The local political parties will submit three names to the State political party chairman.
Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., per North Carolina General Statute 163-166.0.
Yes, if you are in line prior to the close of the precinct, you may vote. If you show up after 7:30 p.m., you will not be allowed to vote.
The Board of Elections Office is located at:
2128 S Sterling StreetFoothills Education BuildingMorganton, NC 28655
No, you must vote at your precinct on Election Day.
For all types of spatial or geographical data Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system designed to:
Land Records is a listing of real property for taxation purposes, documents of title, property record cards, maps, etc.
Surveyor of your choice. (Geographic Information System maps are not of survey quality and should not be used as such. The data shown on the maps is for tax purposes and general location of parcel lines.)
In this scenario, please contact an attorney of your choice.
A legal document of title also known as muniment/affidavit has to be recorded in the Burke County Register of Deeds office which describes to legally combine the properties. Plats do not have the power to legally combine without a Deed, Affidavit or other muniment being recorded. For more information, contact the Geographic Information System department.
The Burke County Register of Deeds office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, except for observed county holidays.
Download our Fee Schedule (PDF) for more information on real estate document fees.
Our office is located at:203 S Green StreetMorganton, NC 28655
Most records filed with our office are public record and available to anyone. Records with restricted access are military discharges due to sensitive information contained in those records. For more information contact our office.
Yes, our real estate records are available online.
Certified copies of vital records are available only to, the individual, an immediate family member i.e.:
These records are available in our office with proper identification and cost of $10 per copy payable by cash or check.
No, divorces and information regarding this and other court actions must be obtained through the Burke County Clerk of Court. You may contact them at 828-433-3200.
No, this information is filed at the Burke County Clerk of Courts office. Questions regarding Estates should be directed to them at 828-433-3200.
Yes, we are currently accepting electronic documents through Simplifile.
To make any changes to your deed a new deed must be drawn up, sent to the Burke County Tax Office for certification, and then brought the Register of Deeds office to be filed.
In Burke County, there are two types of short-term rentals:
No. Houseboats and floating vessels of any type cannot be used as a short-term rental.
The overnight occupancy for a short-term rental is two (2) persons per (legal) bedroom.
A designated responsible party is a person or agency who is available to respond to complaints or other issues regarding the short-term rental.
“Dedicated” short-term rental owners are required to have a designated responsible party. “Owner Occupied” short-term rental owners are not required to have a designated responsible party because the owner is present during the rental period.
A verified complaint is a report of violation of one or more of the short-term rental regulations that has been validated by the Zoning Administrator.
If a property owner receives three (3) verified complaints within a twelve (12) month period, the short-term rental permit will be revoked.
A short-term rental complaint form must be submitted in person, via mail, or online on the County’s website.
The inspection is to ensure the safety of the renters.
There will be an initial inspection before the short-term rental permit is issued. A yearly inspection will be performed when the short-term rental permit is renewed.
A Voluntary Agricultural District (VAD) helps to promote agricultural values and general welfare of the county by increasing identity and pride in the agricultural community and its way of life; encourage the economic and financial health of agriculture; and increase protection from non-farm development and other negative impacts on properly managed farms.
The State of North Carolina passed the Farmland Preservation Enabling Act in 1985, authorizing counties to establish farmland preservation programs, including agricultural districts. In 2003, Burke County adopted a Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program Ordinance, creating the Agricultural Districts Advisory Board (ADAB) and procedures for establishing Voluntary Agricultural Districts.
The purpose of the ordinance is to promote the preservation of farmland in Burke County so that development and growth will be accompanied by protection of farms from non-farm development and other negative impacts on properly managed farms, recognizing the importance of agriculture to the economic and cultural life in the County.
The Agricultural Districts Advisory Board (ADAB) is composed of a number of County residents, which includes farmers representing newly-formed Agricultural Districts. The Burke County Board of County Commissioners appoints ADAB members. The ADAB reviews and approves applications to the Agricultural Districts program. They also advise the board of County Commissioners on projects, programs, or issues affecting the agricultural economy or way of life within the County.
A sign to identify your farm as a Burke County Voluntary Agricultural District will be available. These signs will tell passersby that you, the farm owner, are committed to the preservation of the agricultural way of life in Burke County.
Persons buying land in rural areas will do so with the knowledge that a bona fide agricultural operation exists within one aerial mile. Agricultural Districts will be identified on County maps, which shall be displayed for public view in County offices including offices of the Planning Department and Register of Deeds.