by: Ken Lemon Updated:
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. - Lincoln County's animal shelter has become first in the state to adopt a no-kill philosophy.
Commissioners approved the policy Monday night.
The shelter believes it will be able to save at least 90 percent of its animals.
Depending on the month, anywhere from 30 to 65 percent of the animals at the Lincoln County shelter are euthanized.
That is why a group of animal advocates led the charge to adopt a no-kill philosophy at the shelter.
"To save animals that are dying needlessly," said advocate Karen Baker.
Monday night, the advocates convinced the county commission to take a monumental step.
Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to euthanize only 10 percent of the animals.
The county manager said no other local government in the state has made this kind of commitment.
"Our folks do want to help and try to get more animals placed in homes," said County Manager Tracy Jackson.
The county is going to push hard for more adoptions and more foster homes.
It costs the county $192 per year to house just one animal.
Leaders hope to save money by reducing the number of animals at the shelter.
"This is an ongoing process. It is something that we will be learning a lot as we go forward," Jackson said.
Advocates for a no-kill shelter say they are already working to raise money to help animal rescues take more animals.
They are also trying to get more volunteers to foster animals in their homes until they can be adopted.
"We have already accumulated over a 1,000 hours of volunteer hours per month," said advocate William Edminston.
They hope the vote last night will bring in more volunteers.
The chairman of the board of commissioners said he had to give serious consideration to this option. He said even if they tried and failed they would still save the lives of more animals than they are saving now.