Our Relocation Program saves hundreds of lives each year. In 2021, 586 lives were saved through this program!

We send shelter animals to partner shelters across the country.

Due to the low number of strays in these areas, shelters are willing to place our animals into their care, providing us with more space to take in additional Buncombe County animals. The average length of stay for animals who have been relocated to other shelters is just three days before they’re adopted!

Where to?

First, we identify a rescue partner and confirm they have space to take in adoptable animals.

Who's going?

We discuss what types of animals they have space for and any preferences. For example, hound dogs are more uncommon in the northeast, and partners in that region are often excited to receive hounds.

How do they get there?

We ensure all animals have the required medical workups to travel. They are loaded and ready to travel first class. With temperature control, spacious crates, clean litter pans (for cats), ice water, calming pheromone spray, and frequent checks, we make sure they are as comfortable as possible!

Enjoy driving?

Become a relocation volunteer driver or partnering animal shelter!


AHS needs drivers to transport our pets to local veterinary appointments, these trips are typically within Buncombe County. We also need regular weekly drivers to transport our pets to and from their surgery appointments at local Spay/Neuter clinics. Another great need is for drivers for long-distance transport of animals to partner animal shelters. These trips allow us to help a large number of animals at once and also to make space for new pets coming into our shelter. These trips can happen up to 2-3 times a month and we require 2 drivers for each trip in order to share the driving responsibility. Our long-distance trips vary between 6-10 hours one way and typically involve an overnight stay. It can be a fun opportunity to see visit a new place and help animals in the process!

You are welcome to drive your own car for local trips however, for long-distance transports we will require you to drive our AHS Relocation van as it can safely handle a large number of pets and their travel crates. This vehicle does not require a special driving license.

AHS can provide a vehicle for local transport. For long-distance transport, AHS will cover the cost of gas, overnight lodging and provide per diem for food and travel snacks. We also provide a stipend to drivers driving our long-distance transports.

All independent volunteers must be at least 18 years old in order to volunteer.

We will require all drivers to sign up to be a volunteer through our Volunteer Department. In order to drive an AHS vehicle, we will also require a current driver’s license in good standing and a background check.