What We Do

For over 30 years Asheville Humane Society has been saving homeless Buncombe County animals. Today we operate both our own state-of-the-art Adoption and Education Center and the County's only open door shelter where no animal is ever turned away. We rescue, reunite, rehabilitate and re-home abandoned, abused, injured and lost animals. We provide education, training and support to keep pets in their homes. Asheville Humane Society has earned the highest rating of Four Stars from Charity Navigator, a designation achieved by only 25% of all charities nationwide. Our nationally recognized innovative programs and partnerships are steadily moving Buncombe County toward a no-kill community.

We contract with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County to operate the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. We provide professional, experienced animal welfare and sheltering programming to help increase the live release rate of homeless animals in our community. The Buncombe County Animal Shelter serves as a safety net for the stray, abandoned or relinquished animals in our community.

Animals entering the shelter are medically evaluated and temperament tested prior to being transferred to either our Adoption Center or to placement partners like breed rescues. We work in partnership with the Humane Alliance of WNC to ensure that all animals placed for adoption are spayed/neuter prior to permanent placement.

Why We Do It

There is a tremendous pet overpopulation problem in the United States. Each year, an estimated 4-5 million pets are euthanized in animal shelters nationwide. Asheville Humane Society works tirelessly to eradicate pet overpopulation in Buncombe County through our targeted community programs. We focus on saving lives of the homeless animals in our own community which is why we only source animals for our Adoption Center from the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. We envision a day when animal homelessness is no longer a problem in Buncombe County and that every animal is safe and loved.

Local and national partnerships

No one organization working alone has ever been able to solve the pet overpopulation problem. This is why Asheville Humane Society believes so strongly in partnerships. We partner on a local level and national level to save as many lives as possible.

Humane Alliance of WNC

The Humane Alliance of WNC was originally founded and started by individuals from the Board of Directors of Asheville Humane Society. To this day, we remain closely aligned with this nationally renowned Spay/Neuter Clinic that has revolutionized how high quality, high volume, low-cost spay/neuter is delivered. As the international prototype of spay/neuter training and standards mentorship, the Humane Alliance of WNC trains teams from around country on best practices for high volume, high quality spay/neuter. We can think of no greater partner to have when it comes to spay/neuter initiatives.

We Are An ASPCA Partner Community

In 2009, Buncombe County was chosen as one of only 10 communities in the United States to become an official Community Partner with the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the first and largest humane society in America. Asheville Humane Society, in partnership with the Humane Alliance of WNC, applied for and were awarded this distinction on behalf of Buncombe County. The ASPCA Partnership is a collaboration with communities to increase the live release rate, saving the animals most at risk through sustainable data-driven plans and programs. These engage the community to reunite lost animals with their families, increase adoptions, target spay/neuter and support feral cats. Other partners have made a difference in many U.S. communities, including Austin, TX, Buncombe County, NC, Charleston County, SC, Cleveland, OH, Miami-Dade County, FL, Oklahoma City, OK, Sacramento, CA, Shelby County, AL, Spokane, WA, and Tampa, FL.

Animal Coalition of Buncombe County

In October of 2010, Animal Compassion Network, Asheville Humane Society, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Friends2Ferals, and the Humane Alliance of WNC joined with representatives from Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department Animal Services division and the City of Asheville Police Department’s Animal Services to create the Animal Coalition of Buncombe County. The expressed purpose of this coalition was to help increase the live release rate in our community by working collaboratively with the direct service providers to the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. Those animal organizations with a measurable, direct impact on saving lives from the Buncombe County Shelter meet once a month to discuss new lifesaving programs and opportunities.