Veterinary - AWS FAQ

Animal Welfare Frequently Asked Questions

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The program was enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly to create a uniform system for the regulation of private and public animal shelters.

The bill requires that county and municipal animal shelters comply with those same standards established for private facilities currently under the NCDA&CS inspections detailed in GS 19A Article Animal Welfare Section

The law became effective October 1, 2005. The budget bill approved four new positions.
a. Program Director (DVM)
b. Program Outreach Coordinator
c. Animal Health Technician
d. Administrative Assistant

Inspect municipal and county animal shelters to ensure the facilities are conforming to the rules and regulations of the North Carolina Animal Welfare law.

The inspection staff is trying to ensure the animals in a shelter facility are receiving humane care.

Humane care is defined as the provision of adequate heat, ventilation, sanitary shelter and adequate food and water, consistent with the normal requirements and feeding habits of the animals, size, species and breed. The inspectors also will observe and inspect the euthanasia protocol to ensure the facilities are complying with the rules that govern euthanasia mandated by the General Assembly.

Inspections will be conducted throughout the year.

Currently, the Rabies law (GS 130A-192) permits euthanasia of impounded animals within certain guidelines. The NC General Assembly passed a new law stating that the Board of Agriculture will enact rules that will govern the euthanasia of animals in shelters.

If CO is approved it must be compressed carbon monoxide and delivered in a commercially manufactured chamber that allows for individual separation of animals.

Training will be implemented as required by law passed by the General Assembly.

Cats and dogs need to be vaccinated at 4 months of age for rabies. All dog and cats 4 months of age and greater must be currently vaccinated against rabies. The initial vaccination last for (1) year.

Contact your local Animal Control Department. If your county has no Animal Control contact the local law enforcement in your county.

Yes, please submit a request for an inspection in writing. We will send an inspector to that shelter to investigate the complaint.

Contact your local Animal Control Department.

People bitten by any animal need to wash the wound thoroughly if possible. Medical advice should be sought and followed.

All bites by cats and dogs must be immediately reported to the local health director (or his/her designee). The requirement to report lies with the person bitten, the person owning the animal and the person in control or possession of the animal.

All cats and dogs that bite a person must be quarantined for 10 days following the bite of a person, regardless of the vaccination status of the cat/dog, unless circumstances dictate that the animal be euthanized for testing.

Any cat or dog that dies for any reason during the 10 days following of a person must be tested for rabies.

These records are subject to inspection by both the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the state agencies authorized in NC Controlled Substances Reporting Act (NCCSRA).  

NCDA&CS is not an authorized agency under this law; thus, we have no authority to inspect a shelter’s drug logs for purposes of determining whether a CET is administering the correct dosage for any individual animal.  This response is based on the security and record keeping requirements established under the US Controlled Substances Act and the NCCSRA, 90-113.70 et seq. and 90-107.

§ 90-113.74. Confidentiality.

(a) Prescription information submitted to the Department is privileged and confidential, is not a public record pursuant to G.S. 132-1, is not subject to subpoena or discovery or any other use in civil proceedings, and except as otherwise provided below may only be used for investigative or evidentiary purposes related to violations of State or federal law and regulatory activities. Except as otherwise provided by this section, prescription information shall not be disclosed or disseminated to any person or entity by any person or entity authorized to review prescription information.

Drug logs are not public record and “may only be released as provided under Article 5E of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes” (ref NCGS 132.1.1(e)).


From the DEA or DHHS.

Spay and Neuter Program Frequently Asked Questions

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The Spay/Neuter Program is intended “to foster the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats for the purpose of reducing the population of unwanted animals in the State.” The program has two parts: education and local spay/neuter assistance.

Cities and counties are eligible to apply for reimbursement of direct costs of spays & neuters of cats and dogs owned by low-income persons. Cities and counties may contract with a private veterinarian(s), a spay/neuter clinic operated by the county or city, or a spay/neuter clinic operated by a private organization(s). These contracted entities may be located within the jurisdiction or outside of the jurisdiction.

The program cannot provide direct reimbursement to individuals, veterinarians, or private organizations such as humane societies or SPCAs.

The city or county must provide a year-round program to reduce the cost of spaying or neutering dogs or cats owned by low-income people. The program can consist of one or more of the following:

  • a spay/neuter clinic operated by the county or city;
  • a spay/neuter clinic operated by a private organization under contract or other arrangement with the county or city;
  • a contract or contracts with one or more veterinarians, whether or not located within the county, to provide reduced-cost spaying and neutering services;
  • assistance with (subvention of) the spaying and neutering costs incurred by low-income pet owners through the use of vouchers or other procedures that provide a discount on the cost charged by a participating veterinarian or other provider;
  • assistance with (subvention of) the spaying and neutering costs incurred by people who adopt a pet from an animal shelter operated by or under contract with the city or county

Yes, the statute requires that the program operate year-round.

Cities or counties may receive reimbursement for the direct cost of an eligible procedure. Reimbursable costs include anesthesia, medication and veterinary services.

Administrative costs are not reimbursable. Capital expenditures for facilities and equipment associated with the provision of the procedure are not reimbursable.

No, not necessarily. If there is not sufficient money in the fund to pay 100% of the amounts requested, a formula was created by the General Assembly to pay requests based upon certain criteria. In this event, fifty percent (50%) of the available funds in the Spay/Neuter Account shall be reserved for reimbursement for eligible applicants within development tier one areas as defined in G.S. 143B‑437.08. The remaining fifty percent (50%) of the funds shall be used to fund reimbursement requests from eligible applicants in development tier two and three areas as defined in G.S. 143B‑437.08.

Distribution of funds will no longer be based on rabies vaccines effective for the fourth quarter reimbursements of 2013. Funds will be distributed in proportion to spay/neuter procedures per one thousand people in that city or county as compared to the total rate of spay/neuter procedures per one thousand people for the city/county's respective Tier Group (either Tier 1 or Tiers 2/3). Additionally, reimbursement for each surgical procedure will not be more than 150% of the average reimbursement for each procedure type (cat spay, dog spay, cat neuter, dog neuter) from the prior calendar year. These will be the maximum amounts that can be reimbursed for each procedure type, and are as follows for the calendar year of 2023:

Dog Spay: $174.77

Cat Spay: $124.70

Dog Neuter: $148.77

Cat Neuter: $96.69

The definition of “low-income” is "an individual who qualifies for one or more of the programs of public assistance administered by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to Chapter 108A of the General Statutes or whose annual household income is lower than one hundred percent (100%) of the federal poverty level guidelines published by the United States Department of Health and Human Services".

Eligible cities and counties must submit the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services application form for reimbursement, postmarked by the last day of the month following each quarterly reimbursement period (by January 31st, April 30th, July 31st, and October 31st), in order to receive a distribution from the fund for that quarter.

NCDA&CS has 30 days to make payment from the end of the closing date for receipt of the application for each quarter.

Funding is voluntary and comes mainly from two sources.

  1. You may request a special “I Care” Animal Lovers license plate for your car. The plate will include additional fees over the usual cost of a license plate. A $20 fee will be paid into the Spay/Neuter Fund from the sale of each “I Care” Animal Lovers license plate. Information about requesting the license plate is available online from the Division of Motor Vehicles. Click the button for Specialized License Plates. It is listed as "Animal Lovers."
  2. Additionally, $250,000 will be transferred yearly from the Animal Feed and Pet Food Branch, Food and Drug Protection Division to the Spay/Neuter Account.

The NCDA&CS Animal Welfare Section administers the Spay/Neuter Program.  The contact information for the Spay/Neuter Program is:

Spay/Neuter Program
1030 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1030
phone: (919) 707-3280
FAX: (919) 733-6431

According to the law, “Every county or city animal shelter, or animal shelter operated under contract with a county or city or otherwise in receipt of State or local funding shall prepare an annual report in the form required by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services setting forth the numbers, by species, of animals received into the shelter, the number adopted out, the number returned to owner, and the number destroyed. The report shall also contain the total operating expenses of the shelter and the cost per animal handled. The report shall be filed with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services by March 1 of each year.  A city or county that does not timely file the report required by this Section is not eligible to receive reimbursement payments …”