RALEIGH -- Dozens of Wake County employees are getting a pay raise.

This comes after the Wake County Commission unanimously approved a living wage ordinance, which boosts the minimum wage.

Kim Furino is one of 75 county employees who will be getting a bigger pay check after Wake County commissioners approved a new living wage ordinance. 

She's been a kennel attendant at the Wake County Animal Center for nearly two years, a job that's not easy and has a lot of turnover. 

"People say, 'Oh, you're just cleaning kennels.' It's so much more than that. They're our first line of defense for healthcare in our facility," said Dr. Jennifer Federico, the animal services director. "So it's a critical position that we don't want to see turnover in."

But now the pay will be more competitive, which will help with retention.

"I was shocked. I was very surprised, happy, but surprised," said Furino.

Currently, the lowest a full-time county employee makes is $11.08. The minimum wage will now be $13.50.

And for Furino it means $3,000 more a year.

"It makes me feel really good," said Furino. "It makes me feel that they noticed us better. And it will boost the morale, I believe."

The ordinance will cost the county about $93,000 a year. It's a small part of over a billion dollar budget. 

"The cost will be spread over several departments," said Matt Calabria, a county commissioner. "So we've worked with our finance staff to ensure that we will not need to raise taxes to do this, and it will not have any impact on services." 

Commissioners hope this helps in the fight against poverty, recruiting more employees and keeping great workers, like Furino. 

Wake County's living wage threshold is higher than any other county that has a living wage ordinance in the state.

It goes into effect on Dec. 1.