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Asheville Humane Society Saved the Lives of 6,111 Local Animals Last Year

We have tremendous news to share with you! With your help, we broke all previous records for saving the greatest number of Buncombe County animals, 6,111 at the close of last calendar year!   

AHS operates our own privately funded Adoption and Education Center and since 1990 we have managed the Buncombe County open-admission Animal Shelter contract. Thanks to your support, Asheville Humane Society was able to give thousands of local animals another chance at life and happiness this year!

The numbers below illustrate a quick look at our record-breaking year of success together!

How Did Asheville Humane Society Save the Lives
of 6,111 Local Animals This Past Calendar Year?

In the 2014 Calendar Year: 

  • 6,111 Buncombe County animals’ lives saved, a 14.4% increase of lives saved over the last calendar year.
  • Over 3,300 animals adopted out
  • Over 83 percent of the animals saved out of the Buncombe County Animal Shelter were saved by AHS alone, more than 6 times the number from the Shelter than any other animal rescue organization
  • Over 1,000 lives saved via Relocation Program
  • Nearly 1,000 lost animals reunited with their families
  • Over 500 animals remained in homes rather than being surrendered
  • Nearly 1,800 animals fostered by over 448 families
  • Nearly105,000 hours donated by 920 volunteers
  • 27,000 pounds of pet food provided to citizens and pets in need

Programs that Make Saving Lives Possible


All animals in our Adoption Center come from the Buncombe County Animal Shelter located next door. Each day we transfer in as many as possible to re-home. If animals require special medical care, we fund their treatment through our medical Lily-Grace Fund. We offer extremely reasonable adoption fees (sometimes even fee-waived) with a comprehensive package of adoption benefits, including spay/neuter, microchip, all necessary vaccinations, medical and behavioral screenings, free starter food, and a complimentary vet check by participating vets in Buncombe County. In addition to puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats, we have rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and ferrets available for adoption. We also manage the adoption of farm animals and horses.   

Transfer and Transport

Asheville Humane Society maintains relationships with other animal rescue organizations, both locally and nationally, and never charges a "pull fee." We make aggressive efforts to transfer animals to other organizations, including breed rescues, humane societies, and shelters who may have the capacity to accept animals for adoption. We operate regular transports to transfer animals to organizations in the Southeast, Northeast, and Midwest. 


Over 440 foster families act as “satellite shelters” by opening their homes to animals who may be too sick or scared to be immediately adopted. These foster animals are nursed back to health or socialized until they can be put up for adoption. Almost 1,800 animals went through our foster program last fiscal year. 


A dedicated corps of 920 volunteers helps the organization in a wide variety of ways: cleaning the Adoption Center, socializing and caring for animals, taking animals on outings, providing grooming services, photographing, supporting adoption and community events, and more. These volunteers donated over 105,000 hours of their time last fiscal year, equivalent to 50 full-time staff. 

Lost and Found

Nearly 50% percent of the animals coming to the Buncombe County Animal Shelter are lost. Incoming animals are scanned for a microchip and photographed. Photos of lost pets are uploaded to our website so worried families can easily search photos 24 hours a day. We provide comprehensive information and support to citizens who have lost or found animals. Asheville Humane Society has one of the highest Return To Owner rates in the country. 

Safety Net

We make every effort to ensure that pets remain in their homes with families who care about them. Our innovative Safety Net program provides counseling and support to pet parents who are faced with surrendering their pets to help keep them together, including access to free pet food and other low-cost and no-cost assistance. There is no fee for a County citizen who wants to surrender a pet and we accept all Buncombe County animals in need. We also offer a free re-homing service should a pet parent have no other choice than to place their animal in another home, allowing them to stay involved in the process. 

Pet Health and Pet Behavior

The organization and its volunteers manage monthly low-cost vaccination and microchip clinics. We distribute low-cost spay/neuter vouchers and cooperate closely with Humane Alliance, the nationally known spay/neuter clinic located in Asheville. We offer free pet behavior classes at our Adoption & Education Center through relationships with Pet Behavior Aid and The Dog Door.

Thank you to the Asheville Citizen-Times for helping us share this good news. 
Click here to read the article.

We could not achieve this tremendous success for local animals without you, our volunteers, donors, adopters, foster parents and supporters.

Thank you for your continued support!

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