Asheville Humane Society expands program into three Housing Authority communities

Photo from previous Community Pets dog washing event courtesy of Asheville Humane Society

Press release from the Asheville Humane Society:

Asheville, NC – Asheville Humane Society, in partnership with PetSmart Charities, is proud to announce the expansion of its Community Pets Program in three additional Housing Authority of the City of Asheville communities, with the help of a PetSmart Charities grant for more than $50,000. The Community Pets Program is a branch of Asheville Humane Society’s Community Solutions Department, a collection of programs that provide resources and services to pets and their people in underserved areas of Buncombe County. To celebrate the expansion of this vital program, Asheville Humane Society is hosting an event at the Deaverview Apartments Community Center on Tuesday, June 26.

What: Community Pets Expansion Celebration and Celebrity Dog Wash

When: Tuesday, June 26, 3 – 5 PM

Where: Deaverview Community Center, 275 Deaverview Road (corner of Deaverview and North Bear Creek Rd)

In October 2015, the Community Pets team began door-to-door outreach in their first community with funding from PetSmart Charities. Since then, they have served 799 clients with 1,827 pets, and altered 559 pets to prevent unwanted litters. Their expansion into the Deaverview Apartments and surrounding community in January 2017 has greatly increased access to essential pet services for these residents.

Their proactive approach has been so successful that the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville asked AHS to broaden their presence into additional communities. Through the support of PetSmart Charities, this month the Community Pets team was able to start outreach in Hillcrest Apartments and Pisgah View Apartments, and they will be adding a third community in the next few months.

Residents of these communities are living at or below the poverty line in “resource deserts” with little access to services for themselves or their pets. As a result, many of them are at higher risk of surrendering or rehoming a pet due to medical or behavior issues. By approaching families in their own neighborhoods, the Community Pets team is able to work with pet owners who may not have otherwise reached out for assistance.

Emily Gelb, community solutions manager at Asheville Humane Society, is excited to expand the reach of this program thanks to funding from PetSmart Charities. “Through the Community Pets Program, we provide a range of resources and services including veterinary assistance, pet food, vaccines, spay/neuter vouchers, behavior assistance, and more,” said Gelb. “But our work goes beyond transactional services – we are building relationships based on the shared love we have for our pets, and impacting the lives of both pets and their people long term.”

“There’s nothing like the human and animal bond, and at PetSmart Charities we are passionate about supporting programs that bring people and pets together.” said Sima Thakkar, regional relationship manager at PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. “Thanks to our donors nationwide, we can support programs such as Asheville Humane Society’s Community Pets Program that are designed to engage community partners to help more people and pets in the greater Asheville Community. We are proud to partner with the fantastic team at Asheville Humane Society and look forward to seeing the expansion of this critical program.”

Join representatives from Asheville Humane Society and PetSmart Charities for the official launch of the Housing Authority expansion. Residents of the Deaverview Apartments will bring their dogs to participate in a “Celebrity Dog Wash” and free bags of pet food will be available.

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