In an ongoing series the ACW newsletter will be featuring local shelters and rescues.
This month we welcome Brother Wolf Animal Rescue!
- How long has the shelter been operating, and what motivated its establishment?
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate animal advocates who wanted to make a positive difference in the state of North Carolina, where euthanasia rates for shelter animals are third highest in the entire country. Our mission is to improve the lives of both companion animals and the people who love them. We work to save the greatest number of lives possible each year through strategic programming.
- How many cats do you typically have in your care at any given time, and what types of cats do you rescue (e.g., strays, abused, abandoned)?
On average, we will have about 60 cats in our care at any given time. However, during kitten season, we rely heavily on our dedicated and loving foster families to help us provide care for 80+ cats at a time! We rescue all kinds of cats from all walks of life, including those who have been abandoned at our shelter. We primarily take in cats from our underfunded shelter partners in Western NC who often are forced to make euthanasia decisions due to basic medical needs that they don’t have the funding to address, or due to having too many cats in their shelter for too long. We also help members of our community who can no longer keep their cats by taking in owner surrendered animals and finding them new homes.
- How do you assess and prioritize the cats’ needs for medical attention, socialization, and rehoming?
Each cat who comes into our shelter is examined during the intake process by our medical team (physical exam, vaccines, needed medical care and microchip given). If they are found to have medical needs, those needs are addressed either through Brother Wolf’s medical department or one of our veterinary partners. Our daily animal care staff members and foster homes provide diligent care for each and every cat in our care, making notes whenever concerning behaviors or symptoms arise. Daily managers do morning rounds to put eyes on every animal in the building. We also have a team that meets weekly to discuss our concerns for specific animals in our care to determine next steps for helping them thrive, whether that means seeking ongoing care from a vet partner or finding them a great foster home to see them through adoption.
- Are there behavioral assessments to match kitties and potential adopters? What do you look for? Do you offer support to adopters after they take a cat home?
At Brother Wolf, we use an open adoptions policy to best match our cats with potential adopters. This means that we have non-judgmental conversations with adopters and ask open-ended questions to get a better idea about what kind of cat they are looking for and what kind of lifestyle they lead. We believe that making the decision to adopt is a wonderful choice and that it should be honored by meeting that person with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to make it work for them and the animal. With 600 animals dying in NC shelters each week, it’s critical that animal rescue organizations do everything they can to make successful adoption placements and open adoptions lead to more lives saved. Once we know more about the adopter, we can suggest cats in our care who would be good fits for their home. We send all of our adopters home with appropriate resources to help them be successful and always emphasize just how much we are willing to help if they have any questions regarding the care of their new pet! Adopters have Brother Wolf’s team as a resource for the life of their pet (including behavior help) and if at any point they are unable to keep their adopted pet, we will happily take the pet back into our care. We focus heavily on adoption counseling to set the person and their new pet up for success and over 94% of the pets we adopt out stay in that home for life.
- Do you have any specific programs or initiatives in place to promote the adoption of older cats or cats with special needs?
All of our senior cats have fee-waived adoptions to draw attention to senior cats who may be overlooked when there is a shelter full of kittens. Waiving the fee for senior cats also gives the adopter more funds to spend on treats, enrichment items, and toys for their new pet. If a cat has special needs, we provide educational resources for our adopters, including time spent with our behavior/medical team to better understand the animal’s specific situation and what will need to be done to support that animal in their home. If a cat is on a special food or medication, we often send the adopter home with a starter supply. We are lucky to be in a community who is eager to assist animals with special needs, whether that be through fostering, donating or adopting.
- How are volunteers involved in your shelter, and what roles do they play in caring for the cats? How would someone apply?
Volunteers play an integral role in the day-to-day operations of Brother Wolf! With our cats specifically, we have a couple of really fun and meaningful opportunities for our volunteers. Our cats can always use socialization and play time outside of their kennels, so we have volunteers come daily to interact with the cats in one of our meet-and-greet rooms. This gives cats the opportunity to run, play, and snuggle to their hearts’ content! We also offer a cat enrichment shift where our volunteers can spend time creating fun toys and treats to keep our cats mentally stimulated during their time with us. To learn more information about our volunteer program and how to apply, visit the Volunteer page on our website!
- Are there any success stories or particularly heartwarming adoption stories that you’d like to share? We would also be glad to feature a long-term baby who hasn’t found a home yet, in hopes of finding a furever home.
Earlier this year, we made a post on our social media pages to attract attention for our longest stay cat, Gladys, who had been in our care for a year living in a foster home. As a senior black cat with medical needs and a dislike of too much human attention, we knew that finding her the perfect home would be difficult…but luckily our community really rallied around her story! Gladys’ post received a ton of likes, comments, and shares that quickly helped her find the family of her dreams! We never imagined that Gladys would receive such an outpouring of love, and it warmed our hearts to see everyone supporting her in finding her adoptive home.
- How do you fund your operations? Do you depend on donations or other sources of funding? How can people contribute to your organization?
We could not do any of our work without support from our generous and caring community! Brother Wolf receives no government funding and therefore relies on donations to fuel our daily lifesaving work. About 75% of our funding comes from generous and caring people in our community! Anyone can donate by visiting our website or sending a check to PO Box 8195, Asheville, NC 28814. We also accept donations of shelter supplies like towels, peanut butter, and toys. These items can be donated either through our Chewy Wishlist or in person at our Adoption Center and Thrift Store.