On behalf of the Avery Humane Society, I want to write a letter of thanks to everyone in the county that worked so hard to open our new Animal Shelter in Newland. Because of everyone working together, from the county commissioners to the part-time shelter volunteers, we have a beautiful facility that will provide necessary services to Avery County.
The shelter represents years and years of work for many people. I want to mention a few special individuals that mean very much to us. Our beginnings would never have been possible without the tireless efforts of Ms. Alice Pyatte, and we are so appreciative of the ground work she put in place for today. Ms. Rachel Deal has been our tireless advocate for years in the county and we are blessed by her continuing work at the shelter. The board of directors recently welcomed Ms. Renie Stewart, who will take over as our liaison in the public schools. She looks to introduce animal education programs in Avery County Schools and what an asset she will be, given her years of service to our school system and to Mayland Community College. The county commissioners have been very supportive and we could not be more thankful to have them on the team. Our volunteers at the shelter are made up of amazing local citizens that log countless hours of “dirty work” to keep the animals happy and cared for. These hard workers do it for no pay or recognition, but without them we could not operate. There are many, many others, too many to name that have contributed so much, and without this group effort, we would not exist.
The path to opening the new shelter has been quite the adventure with some twists and turns along the way, but I think everyone will agree it is a wonderful addition to our community. Walking through the shelter and seeing all the happy dogs and cats will warm your heart. It becomes difficult not to adopt one on the spot. The shelter aims to adopt 100% of animals without killing any. We are able to work toward this because Avery County is a close-knit community of loving, caring people and many pitched in to help. Since our move-in during May, we have adopted some 300 animals – WOW!
The shelter is open daily and everyone is welcome to stop by to see the animals and what we have to offer. We have a state of the art event space with a kitchen available to rent for parties and functions. There is also a boutique inside the shelter to purchase pet items and accessories along with food and starter kits for adoptions.
We are excited to be open and excited for the future. There are several student volunteer groups that will be at the shelter in the coming months to join our efforts – but we are always welcoming new volunteers. Animal fostering programs are also available. I encourage everyone to visit the shelter and look around. The website to visit is averyhumane.org.