As part of our Slow Down Asheville program which aims to ensure the safety of Asheville’s children, pedestrians and pets, we sat down with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s Mike Stiles, to discuss what he sees as the biggest threats and challenges to pet safety in Asheville. Lakota R. Denton is a proud business sponsor of Brother Wolf and No-Kill Asheville. Thanks, Mike Stiles for your time and insight, and thanks to Brother Wolf for their support of Slow Down Asheville!
My name is Mike Stiles, I’m the business relationship manager for Brother Wolf in Asheville, North Carolina. At any time, every year I would say we touch between 5-6000 animals lives. That’s adopting out some of the animals that need our care in some of the programs we do. In the community, every year we do about 600 spay or neuters, along with one of our programs we do is our trap, neuter release for our feral cat colonies, to make sure that they don’t end up in the shelter system. We have over 3000 volunteers that donate over 5500 hours a year. Brother Wolf is extremely excited to be partnered up with Slow Down Asheville. One of the great things in this community is really helping kids and animals and I think by partnering with them, we both drive around the roads and see those yellow signs that remind us that we do live in a fantastic community that we really need to pay attention to those animals and to those kids.
We have a lot of smaller roads out here, with people, with a lack of sidewalks, where people are forced to walk their dogs on places there’s no sidewalks, very crowded streets, in addition to a lot of people not having fences for their dogs, so if their dogs get out, they end up on a busy road, and a lot of bad things happen. So having the Slow Down Asheville campaign I think is fantastic.
It would be really nice to see that we start making safe places for our animals and kids to play while we’re developing the city. Sidewalks, more parks, things that really make the city a nicer and safer place for our animals and our kids.
One of the things we do here is our NeighborCore campaign, which is based on our No-Kill Asheville campaign. Helping people, making sure their house is secure for the animals they have. We’ll reach out a lot to the folks in maybe more desperate need for fencing, training for their animals, and programs we have in place to help them, to keep their animals safely in their backyard so they don’t get hurt.
One of the things that we ask our new adopters with their pets is first and foremost the security of fences. In addition to leashes, while we don’t agree tying a dog up (we will never think that safe and dogs can always get out of that, in addition to the fact that it’s completely inhumane) again I’ll reiterate: fencing, gates, supervision (making sure the dog has someone there with them, preferably at all times, but as much as possible).
So at Brother Wolf, it’s our 10th year anniversary this year. Since then, in the last year, we’ve added 5 additional chapters, and our hope is to get out there all across the Eastern United States and open more Brother Wolf’s and rescue more animals.
At Brother Wolf, we have the Slow Down Asheville signs in our retail store, and would love for you come pick them up, and put them at the edge of your yard, just to remind people to slow down. We live in such a great community, let’s take good care of it by having those signs up in our yards. Slow Down Asheville!