Some dogs need a little TLC and training before they go to forever homes. Take us, greyhounds, for example. We don't understand glass like windows and glass doors. Never seen it. And sometimes, because we only saw other greyhounds, we don't understand other breeds. That's why the greyhound foster program is so important. But some dogs have more challenges. And this great place in Weaverville can help! Help them to help if you can.
Your Shop Dogs with Love, Cate and Bandit
Story and Photographs from The Asheville Citizen Times
Story by Beth Walton
WEAVERVILLE - Construction has begun on the $9 million dog rehabilitation facility the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals plans to put in Buncombe County.
The 35,000-square-foot center will be at an old cement plant on Murphy Hill Road in Weaverville. Permits were filed with the county last month.
The center, likely to be the first-ever facility dedicated strictly to providing behavioral rehabilitation to canine victims of cruelty and neglect in the United States, will provide evidence-based training for shelters around the country and a greater capacity and more resources to help traumatized dogs, Schneider said.There will be 65 kennels, and dogs entering the program will spend an average of 12 weeks in treatment.The facility will include a dormitory and several teaching spaces for animal welfare professionals to learn effective behavior rehabilitation techniques and sheltering protocols to help behaviorally challenged dogs become suitable for adoption, she said.
The center is set to employ 30 to 35 people, including experienced behaviorists and trainers. Decisions about hiring will likely be made in the late summer or fall, but that will depend on the construction process, Schneider said.
The ASPCA started informally testing new behavior modification practices with abused dogs years ago at temporary facilities in warehouses and fairgrounds, Matthew Bershadker, president and CEO of the animal welfare agency told the Citizen-Times in 2015.
Initially, dogs would score poorly on behavior screening, but staff and volunteers were able to improve their quality of life to prepare them for adoption, he said. The ASPCA formally expanded its research at the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey, in spring 2013.
The pilot program ran for four years, and the ASPCA is gearing up to celebrate the seven dogs that are part of its last group of canine graduates before opening the permanent facility in Weaverville.
“The progress we’ve made since the opening of the center (in New Jersey) nearly four years ago is remarkable,” said Kristen Collins, senior director of ASPCA Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation, in a statement.
“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and look forward to continuing and advancing the work at our new permanent facility, which will have greater capacity to train visiting professionals as well as rehabilitate animals.”
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA operates on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law.
With $214 million in reported net assets in 2015, the nonprofit is the largest animal welfare agency in the United States.
The ASPCA acquired Asheville's Humane Alliance, a world renown high volume spay and neuter clinic and training facility, in 2015. The move allowed the program's budget to expand by an additional $1 million annually.
Some of the 1.3 million dogs euthanized in shelters across the country each year are put down because they suffer from behavior conditions that are the result of cruelty, abuse and neglect, Bershadker said in 2015. These animals come to shelters from places like puppy mills, hoarders and dog fighters where they were never socialized for human interaction.
"Overwhelmingly, we saw you can turn an incredibly fearful, unsocialized dog into a loving pet," he said that January when the ASPCA announced its plans for the Weaverville center. "They are called companion animals for a reason. Dogs and cats do best when they are living with people."
Rehabilitation is done by desensitizing animals from their prior, horrific everyday experiences and exposing them to ordinary everyday activities at their own pace, Bershadker said.
Behaviorists do simple things like putting a collar on a dog for a few seconds and then removing it, he added. They also expose animals to a television or read to them so they can get use to hearing a human voice.
Beth Walton reports for The Asheville Citizen Times that 9 year old Agnes Keyser raised $1,000 for Brother Wolf!
We LOVE you Agnes. And thank you. Your Shop Dogs, Cate and Bandit. The story:
ARDEN - Agnes "Aggie" Keyser was given $1 and told to change the world as part of a fourth-grade school project.
Hundreds of cartwheels, pull-ups and toe-touches later, she and her friends raised more than $1,000 for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.
Keyser took her dollar and put it in a donation jar at Hard Exercise Works, the gym off Hendersonville Road where her dad likes to work out. She made an agreement with gym owner Arnoldo Alvarez that she’d do one gym movement for each dollar she raised.
"Animals bring joy to people's lives," said Keyser, a 9-year-old who attends Glen Arden Elementary School. She has four fish, two dogs and six chickens at home. "I love animals," she said.
Keyser's goal was to reach $200, but people kept giving. Before she knew it there was more than $500 in the jar. Later, another gym member anonymously committed to matching the donations, raising the total just over $1,000.
This month Keyser rounded up two friends and two dads and the five got to work, doing 100 exercises each. Keyser did 20 cartwheels, 5 pull-ups and 75 toe-touches all in one afternoon.
"The support of individuals like Agnes — folks who love animals and believe they can make a difference — is what makes this community so strong," said Jackie Teeple, marketing and media director for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, the largest nonprofit no-kill shelter in Western North Carolina.
"Whatever your age or situation, each of us can truly be a part of the solution, and everyone's efforts together really matter," she said.
Last year Brother Wolf took in more than 5,000 abandoned animals. Of those, almost 3,500 were adopted locally. Nearly a thousand were sent to partner rescue groups and some 500 feral, community cats were neutered and returned to their colonies.
The project was a success, said Agnes' mother, Tara Keyser. "She learned that people are really generous and that there is a soft spot in people's hearts for animals," she said.
"She learned that even as a kid she can do some pretty remarkable things and influence people's lives and animals' lives as well."
To learn more about Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, visit www.bwar.org or contact the shelter at 828-505-3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The adoption center is located at 31 Glendale Avenue in Asheville.
A New York Times story about shelter dogs, those who work to find them homes and those who adopt them.
Starts like this:
The quiet young man had come to me looking for love, ideally at first sight. I asked my usual questions about his work, where he lived, how he spent his free time. I asked about his great loves of the past, what had worked, or not worked, in those relationships. Then I asked how he felt about being jumped on, slobbered on or getting mud all over his couch.
I know you get tired of hearing the story of the day we met, but it means so much to me, would you humor me just one more time? OK.
I was at a greyhound rescue kennel outside of Chicago. Lonely. Sad. I had been at a home but a baby came and I did not make the transition as well as the family had hoped. So I ended up here. I was thinking I would never have a real home again. Never. And I missed my family. One day, they were just gone. And I was here.
There was talk about you maybe being in the dating market. They said you were really pretty, sweet and strong. Had a nice family in Washington DC and a new car! When I saw your picture, I just thought we might be soul mates. Just something about the look in your eyes and my heart singing! You looked like you might be a little high maintenance, that's true, but a girl like you deserves the best! And I am that guy. I just knew it.
Then one day they told me that you were coming to find a companion and I would be in the bachelor pool! Awesome! Bachelor #2 to be specific. I knew you had been recently widowed with the passing of FourWheels at almost 15. That was a little intimidating. Everybody knew Grey's FourWheels. A 20 page track record with a LOT of wins. And handsome too. A big man they say. Confident. All the women liked him. An officer and a gentleman, they say. That's tough for a basic guy like me. I was not a great racer but my heart has always been in the right place! I'm what you call a heart dog.
I was up early the day you were to arrive. Handing out kisses to anyone who take one. You just didn't know who might put in a good word for you. Being sweet. Keeping to myself. Eyes open and scanning the territory. I was so nervous. But I took a deep breath and Iooked over the the other contestants.
Bachelor #1 had been brought up on the haul from Florida just to meet you. I was worried about that. But he seemed a little rough, like he might be the jealous type. From what I heard, you would not go for a tough guy but more of a partner. So, I thought he was probably out.
Bachelor #3 was a looker. A blue greyhound they call his type. Really good looking. Just like the dog on the side of the bus. But Bachelor #3 had been injured on the track and had a bum leg. Needed surgery. And while he was expect to make a full recovery, he would need some rehab. I figured after helping FourWheels in his last years, you might not want to be a caretaker again. Maybe want somone to take care of you for a change. I would!!
Bachelor #4 was a young one, only 2. He was fast and strong and had a shiny coat. Sweet too. But you were 9 and while I heard you were not opposed to a younger man, he was a baby! No worldy experience. Not the kind of relationship to which you had become accustomed, as they say. I was only 4 but I was more mature than that guy.
Bachelor #5 was a problem. He was your standard operating nice guy. Good looking but not overly handsome. Smart. Knowledgable but a little quiet. Of the group, I thought this guy, the strong silent type, was the biggest threat.
But I didn't have much time to think about it.
All of a sudden, there you were. Just like your picture. Beautiful. Full of life. They brought you and all the bachelors to a big field. We all tried to act sure of ourselves. But, man, I was jittery. You kind of gave me the nod. I was sure of it. But no one was convinced. They thought you would go for the blue guy. So they brought out a kiddie pool and you stepped in. I waited a minute and then joined you. It was like the other guys just knew it was to be me and you!
We left in your new car and went back to the O'Hare Hilton. Gave the car to the valet and headed upstairs. I guess you were thinking to stay the night to be sure we were a match. But within minutes we were rubbing noses. We called downstairs and got the motor cranked before the valet even had a chance to park it and headed HOME! We spent the night in Indiana and made it to DC the next day.
That's me in the back of the car on the way HOME!
That's you after we got HOME! You are so beautiful to me!!
And there has never been a grumble between us. Never. I will always take care of you Cate.
I love you. You will always be my Valentine. Always.