Our spotlight organization for the month of December is Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. We're proud to have donated supplies, food, toys, and a cat tree to assist them this month. Being part of the Asheville community, it's impossible not to know about Brother Wolf, an organization that has repeatedly won the MountainX "Best Of WNC" non-profit awards year after year.
It would be difficult to argue that Asheville isn’t a unique community of largely compassionate individuals, so it is not surprising that our grassroots organizations reflect that. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is one such organization that exceeds commonly held expectations and aspirations of any animal rescue.
Founded in 2007, Brother Wolf is steadfast in their dedication to creating a no-kill community in Asheville. Focusing their efforts on reducing euthanasia of dogs and cats, they provide vital resources to animals and operate an adoption center that is open 365 days of the year! While Brother Wolf’s mission is certainly laudable, what sets this organization apart and makes it so special is the thoughtfulness and ambition of their initiatives and projects.
As we are reminded at the coming of each New Year, goals are useless without a plan of action. Brother Wolf’s goal of a No-Kill Asheville is being implemented through an impressive four-pronged plan. Brother Wolf is tripling its adoption efforts by making improvements to the adoption center, including building an adoption center specifically for cats in order to help reduce stress levels by providing a calmer environment away from rambunctious and boisterous pups. They are also tripling their weekly offsite adoption events across the county. Instead of waiting for potential adoptees to come to the adoption center, they are bringing adoptable pets to the community.
Another vital component of Brother Wolf’s four-step plan is the NeighborCorps program, which sends out volunteers door-to-door into neighborhoods to educate pet owners about the resources that are available to their pets, including spay-neuter services, wellness assistance, and behavioral support. According to Brother Wolf, “We know we can’t just spay-neuter and adopt our way to No Kill: we know we must work equally hard to help keep cats and dogs from ever entering the shelter system in the first place.”
Another component of Brother Wolf’s plan is the Community Cats program, which aims to stabilize the “at risk” (those likely to be euthanized upon entering the shelter system) outdoor cat population and provide resources, such as food and medical care, so that they can live out their natural lives. Thanks to Brother Wolf’s efforts, outdoor cats are no longer the most “at risk” group in our community.
Perhaps the most exciting new development for Brother Wolf is their forthcoming dog and cat sanctuary, which caters to the current most “at risk” group: special needs animals. Located on an 82.5-acre property (including rolling pastures, a mountainside forest, and three natural springs) in Leicester, NC, The Sanctuary will serve those dogs and cats that have endured so much abuse and/or neglect that they require long-term specialized rehabilitation. It would be incredible if this were the singular focus of The Sanctuary; however, Brother Wolf envisions more for this space. The Sanctuary will also serve as an educational resource for local youth to learn about humans’ responsibilities to animals, nature, and society.
The Sanctuary is currently fundraising for Phase One of its three-phase development. Phase One will include the construction of Dog Village, a unique octagonal structure with an annual capacity of 600 special needs dogs, which will be housed in either “old dogs” or “active dogs” villas.
In addition to these living quarters, The Sanctuary will include a dog park in which its behavioral team will coordinate thoughtfully grouped playmates and play times to help allay fear and aggression, as well as promote necessary life skills through play. This outdoor space will also feature a dog agility course and equipment for physical and mental enrichment. Dogs will be protected by a secure double-gate entry, as well as safety fencing around the perimeter of the park. Water recycling and filtration will also be implemented to re-hydrate these pups with healthy drinking water as they exhaust themselves through play.
Another critical component of Phase One is the construction of the Sanctuary Clinic. It is significant to note that Brother Wolf receives no government funding for its rescue work and currently spends over $30K each month in retail medical expenses. By bringing medical services in-house, The Sanctuary’s capacity for medical care will double without an increase in monthly expenses.
Lest you think our feline friends have been forgotten, Phase Two will include the construction of Cat Village, a structure that will serve special needs cats and kittens. Phase Two will also include the construction of a learning center, which will be the site of youth programs and humane education. This phase will also include the construction of guest cabins, so that Sanctuary volunteers and visitors can more fully take part in this healing environment. Phase Three will include the finishing touches, including the construction of a welcome center, Memorial Meadows, and the expansion of guest cabins.
It is an exciting time for Brother Wolf, full of growth and healing for human and animal alike. If you are interested in becoming a founding donor of The Sanctuary, please click here, or if you’re interested in volunteering for Brother Wolf Asheville click here. If you aren’t an Asheville resident, but still want to be involved in Brother Wolf’s No Kill Community Development Initiative, click here to look up your local chapter.