This article by Jennifer Brehler, Interim President of Asheville Humane Society, and David Smith, Board Chair, appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Wednesday, January 15
Asheville Humane Society applauds the recent announcement by Brother Wolf Animal Rescue that they intend to work aggressively toward a "No-Kill Asheville." We could not be more supportive of this goal, which means 90% of animals arriving at the Buncombe County Animal Shelter are saved. We believe it is achievable, but only with all animal welfare organizations working collaboratively.
Asheville Humane Society was selected to operate the only open-admission facility in Buncombe County. Unlike private animal welfare organizations, as an open-admission facility the County shelter cannot turn its back on any animal. We cannot pick and choose which animals we take in. Animals who are severely injured, highly aggressive or terminally ill come to the shelter on a regular basis. While we make every effort to rehabilitate them and save their lives, those who are beyond hope need their suffering ended.
Lost, stray, abandoned or abused, every animal in need has a place to call home with Asheville Humane Society. We are the only animal welfare organization in Buncombe County that dedicates 100% of our time and resources to local, Buncombe County animals. We never say no to an animal in need.
Last year, we took in nearly 7,000 animals requiring our assistance. This number demonstrates why our community needs everyone - Asheville Humane Society, Humane Alliance, Friends2Ferals, local animal services departments within both Asheville City and Buncombe County governments and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue - joining together for the benefit of not just some, but ALL animals in Buncombe County.
Thankfully, Asheville Humane Society has been able to save the life of EVERY healthy, adoptable animal in the last three years. This is a major reason that Animal Compassion Network merged with Asheville Humane Society. Eileen Bouressa, former executive director of Animal Compassion Network, now with Asheville Humane Society, said the merger was the result of "our shared belief that we need to focus on our own backyard. This means devoting most, if not all of our resources to Buncombe County and its residents in order to succeed in creating a no-kill community here."
Asheville Humane Society's programs and services are nationally recognized. In the last year we have:
- Saved the lives of more than 4,000 Buncombe County animals through various programs designed to help not just animals in need but pet owners as well.
- Reunited nearly 1,000 lost pets to worried owners and achieved one of the highest return-to-owner rates in the United States.
- Found foster homes for the 1,515 animals that needed extra care to recover from abuse, injury/illness, and neglect or are too young to adopt.
- Kept 357 animals from entering the shelter via our innovative Safety Net program.
- Adopted 2,938 Buncombe County animals into loving homes.
But there is still more work to be done before Asheville can become what we all want - a no-kill community. That is why we congratulate Brother Wolf Animal Rescue on its renewed commitment to serving Buncombe County animals. Because we are the only animal welfare agency who must and does take in every animal in need, Asheville Humane Society is pleased that other organizations will support our efforts to address the problem of local animal overpopulation. Together, we can continue to make great things happen for the most vulnerable animals in Buncombe County.