Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Exploring The World of Animal Shelters: An Inside Look At Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

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An interview with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue from Asheville, North Carolina

Introducing Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Leah Craig Fieser – Executive Director

My name is Leah Craig Fieser, and I’m the Executive Director of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue based out of Asheville, NC. Brother Wolf Animal Rescue was founded in 2007, and we impact the lives of thousands of companion animals each year in the Western North Carolina region. Our mission is to enhance the lives of companion animals and the people who love them. We envision a community where all companion animals are valued, cared for, and thriving and where lives are enriched by the special bond between people and animals. We work across county lines with the goal of saving the greatest number of lives possible through strategic, creative, and impactful programming. Our work is critical because more animals are dying in the North Carolina shelter system than almost any other state in the country (source). Brother Wolf acts as a lifeline for animals who have nowhere else to go.

Read more about Leah Craig Fieser in her bio here:

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s 2022 Impact Report:

Tell Us About The Most “Unusual” Animal That Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Has Ever Taken.

Most recently, we were thrilled to accept a little hedgehog named Willow into our care! While we are happy to welcome most small animals at Brother Wolf, seeing a hedgehog walk through our doors is exceptionally rare. Willow had initially been adopted by a young girl who ultimately abandoned her, leaving all responsibility of care to her mother who had no idea how to provide for a hedgehog. Of course, due to the stressful life changes she was facing, Willow arrived at Brother Wolf with quills falling out of her back and a terribly upset tummy. After spending time recuperating with a loving foster family and receiving specialized care from one of our veterinary partners, sweet Willow was able to heal and find an amazing adoptive home!

Tell Us About The Most Unique And Creative Fundraising Campaigns That Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Has Done

Year after year, Brother Wolf has celebrated Valentine’s Day by delivering sweet Puppygrams to members of our community! These puppy visits have been a great way for us to fundraise, but our biggest goal has always been to spread joy – not only to those receiving a Puppygram, but also to our dedicated volunteers who help with delivery and puppy-sitting throughout the day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily transitioned to a digital-only option for our Puppygrams and were surprised to find continued success despite the huge change. That being said, we were able to bring back our in-person visits for 2023 and had the most amazing time helping our pups spread the love!

Tell Us About The Most Rewarding Part Of Running Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

Decreasing suffering and increasing joy exponentially! Seeing all of the happily ever afters that we’re able to create for animals and their new families. It’s the best thing in the world to get happy adoption updates from months, or sometimes even years, after the animal has been adopted. Knowing that the work you did to save that animal has had a lasting impact, and knowing that the animal is now living their best life in a home where they are deeply loved and cared for…and knowing that you have also made an impact on the humans whose world now has more love, happiness, and joy because of the animal they share their lives with. Honestly, there’s no other place I’d rather invest my brain and heart!

What Do You Think Might Be The Greatest Challenge Of Running Brother Wolf Animal Rescue?

There are always more animals needing help than you have the capacity to help, and that is hard. When new team members join Brother Wolf, I talk to them about the emotional toll that this work takes on the people who do it every day, and I suggest that they find their own personal “why” to focus on when things seem overwhelming. It’s overwhelmingly sad to know how many animals are suffering in the United States, or even just within the county where you live. For me, I focus on the progress that we’re making in Western North Carolina through Brother Wolf’s work and on the progress that animal sheltering as a whole is making in the US.

Tell Us More About The Volunteers In Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

One of our most exciting volunteer opportunities is participating in our Outward Hounds hiking group. A dedicated group of volunteers take our dogs from the shelter out into the beautiful mountains that surround WNC. This helps them decompress, have time in a car, have time on the trail and time in a pack with other dogs!  I think that it’s fair to say that our Hike Leaders are some of the most passionate people we see at our shelter on a regular basis.

Where Do Most Of The Animals In Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Come From, And What Is The Process For Rescuing And Rehabilitating Them?

Brother Wolf accepts about 60% of our population from rural shelter partners who are often overburdened by the number of animals in their care and cannot afford to provide some of their animals with costly medical care. We are especially grateful to have the opportunity to help our neighboring shelters by accepting their heartworm positive dogs into our care and providing those dogs with all necessary treatment to get them back to full health. As for the other 40% of our population, we accept these animals from local pet owners who can no longer provide care to their companion animals. These are often heartbreaking situations, which is why we offer each owner the opportunity to receive a courtesy call whenever their pet finds a new home. More often than not, the people who surrender their pets into our care do not want to be making such a difficult decision, so we do everything in our power to bring them comfort and peace of mind wherever we can.

What Are The Busiest Periods And How Does Brother Wolf Animal Rescue Cope?

We see the most animals and adopters during the spring. Whenever the weather starts to warm up, there tends to be a major influx of orphaned puppies and kittens arriving at our doorstep. Thankfully, we have a huge network of foster homes with a range of experience in providing care for animals of all ages! The bottle feeding stage is one of the most difficult since it requires round-the-clock care, but our foster families who provide for these young ones love being such an integral part of their healing journey. Some of our staff members even volunteer to bring these babies into their homes, which inevitably helps at the time of adoption since it gives us a first-hand look into their blossoming personalities. Spring is definitely a busy time, but watching these puppies and kittens begin to thrive as they age makes it all worthwhile.

Tell Us More About Your Events

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue has a generous donor who is matching all donations up to $50,000 through the end of April, so it’s a great time to support homeless animals since every gift will go twice as far!

What Is Done Differently at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue?

At Brother Wolf, one of our goals is to build partnerships with other organizations to better the world of animal welfare on the whole. We all share a passion and love for companion animals, so what better way to help our furry friends than by supporting one another along the way? We work across county lines to help our neighbor shelters who struggle due to their large population of animals, and we especially do what we can to alleviate them of animals who require costly medical attention prior to their adoption. We are also incredibly proud of our Mobile Spay and Neuter Clinic, which partners with other shelters to provide them an affordable option for spaying and neutering their population of animals!

Share With Us Some Of The Heartwarming Stories Of Animals Rehabilitated And Rehomed By Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

One story that comes to mind is that of Buddy McNoodle. Originally, Buddy had been adopted as a puppy around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic from another shelter. During this time of being locked down at home, many puppies – McNoodle included – suffered from a lack of socialization that made them fearful of new people, places, and experiences. By the time we welcomed Buddy into our shelter, he struggled to interact with most of our staff members, especially while inside of his kennel. Whenever a person approached him from outside of his kennel, Buddy would immediately begin to bark, growl, and show his teeth.

Our staff members patiently worked with Buddy McNoodle for about two weeks, continuously spending time tossing him treats from outside of his kennel or taking him out of the kennel to interact with new people. While his reactivity inside of the kennel stayed the same, we quickly learned that Buddy’s personality was way more than meets the eye! Buddy is incredibly goofy and loving, and his seemingly aggressive behavior was a direct result of stress and lack of socialization. Believe me when I say that we were all crying tears of joy the day that Buddy found his perfect home. He is now incredibly spoiled and spends his days roaming his mountainous backyard and snuggling close with his family!

What Are The Help Needed From The Local Community?

We are always in need of foster homes, businesses to hold fundraisers, people to engage with us on social media, and people who are ready to adopt their next family member.

Connect With Brother Wolf Animal Rescue here:

Address: 31 Glendale Ave, Asheville, NC 28803.

Phone: (828) 505-3440

Website: is thankful to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue for the interview. 

Check out this page for the list of animal shelters in Asheville, North Carolina.

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