Burke County Rescue Groups Working with Commissioners on Animal Services

Burke County Budget Work Session

Burke County, GA-

There’s a growing conversation for desperately needed animal services in Burke County. On Wednesday, commissioners had a budget work session, and many rescue groups wanted to know if there will be any money for the animals.

Commissioners didn’t have an exact number for these groups, but they want to make room in the budget to help with services. The question of ordinances and the possibility of a humane society all came up during the discussion.

The fur less face that captured the attention of many in Burke County and beyond is still making waves.

“I think baby steps are needed at this point, you can’t throw a huge idea out, and just grasp it,” said Margie Riggs with Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue.

At the budget work session, several rescue groups voiced their opinions about what needs to be done in a county with no animal services.

“If people had an idea, a tangible idea, that they could see, not just something in their mind that they would be more willing to come together and volunteer,” said Riggs.

Riggs said since December of last year, the rescue group has helped send almost 300 animals up north for better chances at adoption. She says there are still dozens more waiting for a new home.

Commissioners and the groups talked about laying down some kind of foundation, a place where the animals can be taken.

“This holding facility could ease into a Burke County Humane Society real easily,” said Samantha Holton with Girard Life Saver Rescue.

Holton requested funding for a more aggressive spay and neuter program with her rescue.

“I see us as two small rescues trying to the job of the biggest county in the state of Georgia,” said Holton.

Holton said she’s dedicated much of her life to saving these animals, even taking in 28 puppies within a three-week period.

Commissioners seemed to agree something needs to be done about these concerns.

“I keep trying to tell people that we don’t have a dog and cat problem here in Burke County, we more or less have people problems,” said Allen Delaigle, Vice Chairman.

Delaigle said it looks like there is room in the budget to grant about $8,000 to each rescue, but nothing is concrete. He said commissioners are waiting on these groups for more direction.

“Find out what they want us to do, and then we will decide whether or not we are able to do it or not, if we get help from them, then they will get help from us,” said Delaigle.

“I am really feeling some hope and I am really believe commissioners, and I’m hoping we are going to get this,” said Holton.

Commissioners said they plan to talk about county animal ordinances in the next couple of meetings after the budget gets worked out.


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