As 2019 comes to a close and the seasons of gratitude and giving are upon us, we, the members of Outward Hounds Hiking Club for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, gratefully acknowledge the opportunities we’ve had to positively impact the lives of many animals in our community.
Indeed, there have been many changes at Brother Wolf over the past year, but the purpose of this letter is not to debate the decisions Brother Wolf makes, nor to discredit or disparage anyone who disagrees with its current direction.
In times of change, people often reassess the value that an organization such as Brother Wolf provides to the community it serves. Some people feel that Brother Wolf is transitioning into a different organization than what it has been in the past. In short — it’s not the same organization. Under the new leadership, there is an increased focus on long-range sustainability, which means operating within an established financial budget, having clear operational policies and procedures, as well as guidance and oversight from a strong board of directors.
There was significant debt that was inherited by the new leadership, as well as operational deficiencies that had to be addressed in order for the organization to survive. There is no quick fix for these problems, but the aforementioned initiatives represent a strong start.
Outward Hounds Hiking Group consists of many long-term, committed volunteers who have participated in three-four hikes per week, including holidays, for well over five years. We have given our time and our money to support this organization, and many of us have adopted dogs from Brother Wolf and cherish them as members of our families. The role of Outward Hounds contributes greatly to the quality of life for the Brother Wolf dogs awaiting adoption.
For this year alone, Brother Wolf is on track to accomplish nearly 2,000 adoptions. Although the Adoption Center is probably the most familiar program offered by Brother Wolf, it is only one of several successful programs that has a huge impact on saving lives in our community. We think it’s extremely important that the general public be aware of these other critical Brother Wolf programs and consider what our community would lose without Brother Wolf.
In North Carolina, 55,900 animals in the shelter system were euthanized in 2017, which makes North Carolina the third worst state in the country for the euthanization of shelter animals.
Brother Wolf’s mobile spay and neuter clinic offers a low-cost option in our community. In its first year, the clinic will perform about 5,000 surgeries! This prevention program is critical to keeping animals out of the shelter system in the first place.
Brother Wolf’s community cat program humanely traps unowned cats that are living outdoors, vaccinates and spays or neuters them, then returns them to their outdoor home. This year to date, the lives of 765 cats have been positively impacted by the program, an average of 77 cats per month.
Brother Wolf’s transport program rescues animals from overcrowded shelters in the WNC area and relocates them to partner shelters in the Northeast where there is a high demand for adoptable animals. Over 1,000 animals’ lives will be saved through this program in 2019.
Their foster program provides the opportunity to take in animals that could not be saved without foster placements: animals who need a place to recovery after surgery, animals who need to go through heartworm treatment, animals with babies too young to be in a shelter environment, animals who are too stressed to be in a shelter environment, undersocialized animals, animals who have never lived in a home before (spent their life on a chain, etc.), orphaned animals who have to be bottle-fed and animals who require around-the-clock care. Brother Wolf’s foster care program has cared for over 900 animals this year.
Animal rescue is hard and emotional work, regardless of whether you are a volunteer or an employee. Many issues in this realm are not black and white, frequently resulting in distinctly different vantage points among those involved, even when everyone is motivated by the best intentions. Every day, we face many examples of the imperfect world in which we live, so we have to find and embrace the positive things we do see and recognize the value these things provide for us. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is a vital organization to our community and has the opportunity to thrive under the new leadership.
We choose to support Brother Wolf because of the value it brings to our community and the animals’ lives it saves. We hope that others will look at the big picture and join us in continuing to support this important community asset.
— Brother Wolf Outward Hounds Hike Leaders
Christine Fellrath, Fairview
Lucy Cobos, Asheville
May Rhea, Fairview
Patti Anastasi, Fairview
Rob Campbell, Asheville
Paul Kersch, Asheville