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Pet Preps: Preparing For Animal Influx

BPR News
Asheville Humane Society Executive Director takes time to visit with a new arrival in the adoption center.

The recent announcement that Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is planning to close its Asheville adoption center as the organization transitions to  a new facility has raised questions and concerns about the area’s ability to absorb the extra animals.   

Many of the animals will end up at the Asheville Humane Society.  BPR’s Helen Chickering spoke with their director about their plans. 

“Hi buddy”

A room full of wagging tails greet Asheville Humane Society executive director Tracy Elliott  as he makes his way through the dog section of the Adoption Center.

Around the corner is the cat room, which has been really busy this season.

“This is kitty season and we have hundreds and hundreds of kittens that are in foster.  I think last week, I think we did 60-70 adoptions last week, “ says Elliott.

The Humane Society manages the Buncombe County Animal Shelter, which is right next door and takes the bulk of the animals that go through the shelter

“We take about 87 percent of the animals that come out of shelter here in our adoption center, says Elliott, “We send about a thousand animals to transport to northern shelters, some rescued around area take rest of animals it’s a fairly small percentage of the animals, but nevertheless, they are important partners.”

Partners like Brother Wolf Animal Rescue which recently announced it will close its adoption center during work on a new animal sanctuary facility.  

“They were proactive in telling us, before it was released to the public. So we are already preparing for higher intake and we know that like us, Brother World is becoming more complicated, behaviorally complicated population, so it could be a real challenge for us, but we’ll be prepared.”

Better prepared, in part says Elliott thanks to a community outreach program that got underway in 2015 and has helped reduce shelter intake in the county by nearly 28 percent

“Thank goodness for that because now there is capacity there if it increases, if we hadn’t done that.  If weren’t keeping animals in their homes and out of the shelter by being proactive in the community, we’d probably have a problem.”

Elliott says the Humane Society will increase their outreach, and hopes to grow their foster care program.  They are also planning to invite nearby shelters to participate in community foster/adoption information sessions.

“We don’t care, at the end of the day, who is taking care of the animal, we just want to make sure the animal is taken care of,“ says Elliott.

One thing is for certain, there will always be plenty of animals in need of care.  For BPR News, I’m Helen Chickering

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue has not yet released a timeline for when the Asheville adoption center will close

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.