RUTHERFORDTON — A few years ago Rutherford County’s (RC) cramped, outdated animal shelter was a highly visible mark of shame for Rutherford County. The 50 year old facility on Laurel Hill Drive in Rutherfordton, once known for its cruel animal drop box (now removed), high kill rate and the receipt of multiple state inspection citations, enraged the public and attracted widespread media coverage.
Many of our RC Commissioners came into their offices resolved to better this horrific situation. Through their actions, the animal shelter was reassigned to departmental supervision of James Kilgo, alliances were formed with animal rescue organizations to find homes for shelter occupants, and policies were enforced.
The Rutherford County Commissioners budgeted over $3 million for the shelter project from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The new building, currently in the planning stages, potentially will be located on existing near-by county-owned property. The shelter is regulated by the state and must meet state requirements.
The instances of euthanasia are down dramatically through the efforts from Animal Control, our local government, and the countless volunteers and staff of animal rescues.