I am originally from Matthews, North Carolina. I found my love of dogs and cats as a kid when I did a community service project through my martial arts school. I love bringing animals together with their new families.
As a Behavior Assistant, I train dogs, facilitate playgroups, work with potential adopters, and provide general animal care. One of the things that inspires me the most is seeing the compassion of humans towards animals while working in animal rescue.
I am originally from Ohio and moved here in 1991 with my family. I started volunteering at Brother Wolf in 2009 and soon after became an employee. I can’t imagine my life without seeing all the big and little furry faces every day. At home I have one dog, three cats, and a foster dog.
The best part of my job is watching an animal begin to trust again after being shut down and scared of the world. That makes the work so worthwhile.
It is an honor to be a part of this organization and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Brother Wolf and the animals we rescue every day.
I came to Brother in 2017 with over 20 years of experience as a volunteer or volunteer manager. I am intrigued with the unique qualities of each volunteer and I enjoy helping people from diverse backgrounds discover ways they can cooperate so that the team succeeds. I am happiest when I am creating order and eliminating chaos. BWAR’s recent fast-paced change and growth will be challenging and extremely rewarding. I am honored to work alongside thousands of BWAR volunteers as we build a No-Kill Community together.
My husband, our 4 children, and I have lived in Asheville since 1988. We have two dogs (one of them is a BWAR foster fail) and one BWAR foster kitten. When I’m not working, I enjoy scrapbooking, jewelry making, live music, and drinking on patios.
I moved to Asheville in the spring of 2015 from New England with my two cats, Nora and Ida. Asheville lets me experience the mountains and beauty of my home state of Vermont… but with more reasonable weather.
I’ve been a writer, animal advocate, and caretaker for most of my life and spent several years as a professional Cat Writer before coming to Brother Wolf. I have a special passion for nurturing orphaned kittens through our bottle-baby program and socializing sassy cats.
I’m thrilled to have a job that allows me to tell stories of the work we do to rescue animals and the people and programs that make rescues possible.
Foster Team Coordinator and Data Supervisor
I was born abroad and grew up as an Army brat. We settled in northern Virginia when I was a kid and that’s where I lived until 2014 when I moved to North Carolina to be with family. I love living in the mountains of western North Carolina.
I started as a volunteer with Brother Wolf in June 2015 after deciding I wanted to do more to help animals. I wanted to make sure I worked with a No-Kill rescue and research led me here. I have had a heart for animals since I was very young. I actually wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized I had an extremely queasy stomach.
As the Foster Team Coordinator and Data Supervisor I’ve found my niche! I still volunteer quite a bit for Brother Wolf, but in different capacities. You could say I’m a “Jack of all trades” here as I’ve done a lot of different things within the organization. If you see me at the adoption center, feel free to ask me questions! Chances are good that I’ll know the answer or be able to steer you in the right direction. In my free time, I love spending time with my four dogs (one of which is a puppy I adopted from Brother Wolf) and two cats (one is a foster fail).
I was born and raised in Chapel Hill, but fell in love with the mountains when I moved here in 2012. I have been passionate about animals since I came into this world, and currently I am living with the love of my life, Oryx (pictured). We enjoy watching the Office and doing photography. I began my work with Brother Wolf as a volunteer, doing my UNCA senior research project on the formation of community around animals. I found myself completely enmeshed in that community, and began my job here as an adoption counselor in 2016! There’s no feeling quite like finding the perfect match!
I relocated to Asheville from New York, where I most recently served as Executive Director at Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary. My work with rescued animals began when I was just 12 years old, as a volunteer at a farm rescue called The Red Barn. My husband and I love to adopt special needs animals. Our current family includes 3 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs. I enjoy hiking, jewelry making, and meditation in my free time.
The best part of working in animal welfare is knowing that I’m making a sustainable impact. It’s much easier to be on the inside of a problem working to solve it than to be on the outside feeling helpless. I’m so grateful for this path I’ve chosen and the lives I get to change every day.
I volunteered with Brother Wolf for several years before being hired to do data entry in 2016. Data entry is fun for me and I love being able to keep the records straight for the thousands of animals who come through our doors every year. Keeping everything in good order is essential with the volume of animals we rescue.
Outside of work, I love volunteering with the Outward Hounds Hiking Club. The weekly hikes give dogs a chance to get out of the shelter and into nature. I’ve seen some of their personalities completely change (for the better!) when they get out on the trail. The ones who are shut down or anxious are especially happy to get out for a while. It helps them socialize and relax, and it gives the volunteers a good opportunity to exercise.
Offsite Adoption Event Manager
I came to Asheville for college and ended up wanting to stay in this beautiful area after graduating. I started off as a volunteer at Brother Wolf and could immediately see how amazing this organization is, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. When I’m not working with the Brother Wolf animals I’m probably somewhere outside with my pup, Nellie!
I’ve worked at Brother Wolf since 2012. I love being able to help animals in need, especially the more challenging dogs we get here. I’ve lived with animals my whole life and currently have one dog and nine additional fosters. When I’m not working, I spend most of my time at home with them or hiking.
Director of Sales
I fell in love with nonprofits when I was only an adolescent. Inspired by a lifelong love for all animals, I quickly developed a deep passion for charitable work. This resolve stuck with me through college, leading me to my BA in advertising.
After moving to Asheville with my husband, I started the search to adopt an animal. That’s when I found Brother Wolf. My admiration only grew after adopting a Plott hound mix named Tuba, followed by a Greyhound mix named Bones. I was lucky enough to land my dream job in 2013, and now oversee the Retail and Thrift store locations for Brother Wolf.
Community Outreach Manager
I joined the team in 2017, and am more than happy to apply my communications and organizing experience to my role as Community Outreach Manager. You might find me attending and organizing local and regional events highlighting BWAR’s life saving programs or managing volunteer-based initiatives that help animals and bring awareness to animal issues.
I live in Black Mountain with my husband, five year old daughter, a very talkative pit bull mix, and a sassy chihuahua. Some of my passions include outdoor adventure, veganic gardening, drinking sour beer, and snuggling piglets at Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary.
Second Chances Thrift and Adoption Center, Dickenson County
My husband and I have been fostering and volunteering for Brother Wolf for 3 years. I have been working part time at Second Chances Thrift Store and Adoption Center since 2016. I have 5 fur children of my own and foster up to 3 at a time. I love my job and being a part of saving lives.
Founder and President
I moved to Asheville in 2007 because I was drawn to the beautiful mountains and all that they had to offer an outdoor enthusiast. My intentions were to only stay for a few years, and then move onto my next adventure as I had been traveling all over the country as a Traveling RN- specializing in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine. But I could not leave. I became involved in the local animal rescue scene very quickly and realized that there was not enough being done in the community to help animals. I also realized that there was no real sense of urgency to help save animals — even though, at that time, they were dying by the thousands every year. I created Brother Wolf because our community was yearning for a No-Kill organization that was grass roots and very much a voice of the community. We first started rescuing dogs only, but as my understanding, love, and respect for other animals grew, so did our rescue work. We have evolved to be an organization whose core ethic of Uncompromised Compassion extends to all animals — human and non-human alike. I am blessed to be living at the Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary right now with my fiance, 6 dogs, 2 cats, 16 pigs, and 7 cows.
Animal Care Technician
I’ve worked for Brother Wolf since April 2017. I’m originally from New York but have lived in Asheville for 9 years.
I am an Animal Care Technician, and work with the dogs, cats, and rabbits. Working with the animals is a very rewarding job. I’m excited and proud to be a part of this organization.
When I’m not working, I’m at home with my dog Nash, foster dog Carebear and foster cat Carlos, watching Netflix or playing outside in the yard.
Cat Care Manager
I’ve been working at Brother Wolf since 2013. What I love most is seeing animals go home who have been with us for a long time. I love seeing every animal go home, of course, but I have a special place in my heart for the old ones and the more difficult ones to place.
I have 2 dogs (one is a Brother Wolf “foster fail”) and 2 cats at home. I also love fostering and specialize in fostering animals who are nervous, semi-feral, or have special needs.
I have been working at Brother Wolf since the summer of 2015 after I finished the behavior internship, and have never looked back! As a Behavior Assistant, I help with the dogs’ enrichment, playgroups, and any other training they need. I love working with the dogs and cats in the shelter, and have a soft spot for senior dogs and dogs that bite — so I ended up adopting a bitey senior dog. In my free time I like to spend time with my dog, cat, and bunny, and whatever foster kitten is currently crashing with us.
Field Operations & Community Cat Manager
I have worked in animal welfare (as a volunteer or employee) for almost 30 years in a bunch of different capacities. I’ve been involved in direct animal rescue for 12 years, mostly working with community cats. I already had so much compassion for cats, so when I started learning about the plight of community cats, working with and for them was a natural fit for me.
I love helping people and animals — whether it’s helping a cat get spayed or neutered through the Community Cat program, or building a fence to help someone keep their dog in their home through the NeighborCorps program.
Henderson County Outreach Coordinator
I began working for Brother Wolf in 2016. I love working with the animals, caring for them, and helping each one find the perfect family.
My husband and I have a 9-year old daughter, two dogs (one adopted from Brother Wolf), and two cats. We love hosting exchange students!
Animal Care Technician
I’ve been working at Brother Wolf since 2015 and I absolutely love my job. I’m lucky that I get to come to work and play with dogs and puppies all day. I grew up with animals and have three rescued dogs at home. The newest addition is Dottie, who just turned a year old. I met Dottie last summer when I went to Louisiana with Brother Wolf to do search and rescue during the floods. I fell in love with her right away. Without Brother Wolf’s help, she may not have made it through that disaster.
Heather Polechio, CPDT-KA, CTC
Adoption Trainer and Pet Retention Specialist
I’m an Asheville native. I have been working in animal welfare and with companion animal organizations for the past twelve years, and with Brother Wolf for the past two. I have always had a passion for understanding canine behavior, which led me to attending the San Francisco Academy for Dog Trainers and Behavior Counselors. I graduated in 2009 and acquired my national dog training certification in 2010.
In addition to my passion for helping animals, I also love to help people! My work with Brother Wolf is centered around helping adopters and foster homes maintain harmonious and healthy relationships with the dogs they share their lives with. Ultimately, my work keeps these animals out of the shelter system. I share my home in Asheville with two German Shepherd mixes, Otchot & Eppy.
Working with Brother Wolf is more than just a job — it’s a lifestyle and a community! The energy, love and passion that exists in this community is unlike that of any other I have ever experienced, and that is why I can genuinely say I love my job!
I am from Austin, Texas. I moved to Asheville about 8 years and now work at Brother Wolf as an Adoption Counselor. I enjoy seeing best friends meet for the first time and walking animals across the street with their new families to finalize adoptions.
I adopted my cats Ophelia and Smash from Brother Wolf. Ophelia plays fetch and follows me as if she were a dog. In and out of work, I enjoy being productive and active.
Foster Program Manager
I moved to Asheville in 2012 with my husband and our cat, Aeolus, and we immediately fell in love with the generous community and beautiful landscape we found here. I taught in the area for a few years before coming to BWAR as the Foster Program Manager in 2017.
I have always loved animals and grew up caring for countless dogs and cats, an experience that I know is familiar among volunteers and staff at Brother Wolf. I am proud to be joining such an amazing community of animal lovers, caregivers, and animal welfare activists.
Originally from northeast Pennsylvania, I have lived in the Asheville area for over a decade. I brought a background in illustration, graphic design, and marketing to Brother Wolf, along with a strong desire to fight for animals in need and to assist the people who help them.
I joined the Brother Wolf team in 2009 as a cat foster parent and never looked back. I share my West Asheville home with six cats and a dog, along with a running cast of foster cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, and –just once– an overambitiously rooting pig.
I came to Asheville from Phoenix in 2012, and started working for BWAR in 2014. I love working as a groomer because the proceeds of what I do goes to an organization that truly cares for the well being of animals — not only in our care, but in the community as well. I love my job and working with animals of all types and sizes.
What I love most is when I get an opportunity to really make a difference. Usually for me that’s shaving the matts off a animal who is in pain because of a previous situation. Being able to make an animal feel better and let them know they are in a good place with caring people is a beautiful thing. Watching the love transform them into a happy animal who is feeling good for the first time is truly a blessing.
I have a German Shepard mix who I adopted in Alaska. We love to go on hikes and swim in the river. I also have a Siberian mix cat who I adopted in 2014 during a blizzard where I had to hike 2 miles in the snow to adopt her and bring her home. We enjoy watching the birds in the morning and cuddling.
Second Chances Thrift
I joined the Brother Wolf team in 2016 after volunteering for several years. I have dreamed of working in animal rescue since childhood and intend to make it a lifelong career. I enjoy working in the thrift stores because it allows me to directly help the animals while also getting to know the members of our community and the donors who make our work possible.
I love all animals great and small, but rabbits are my true passion. I have been rescuing rabbits for over 10 years and have three of my own. In addition to the rabbits, I also share my home with three rescue cats and an ever growing collection of vintage furniture.
McDowell County Chapter Manager
I began working with Brother Wolf in 2016. I love being able to save a lot of animals, educate the community about animal care, and help create the resources we need to make McDowell a No- Kill county. We’re already very close! Outside of work, I love spending time with my young daughter, our 3 cats, and many foster animals.
Animal Care Technician
I fill several positions at Brother Wolf, including cat care, dog care, medical assistant, and driving for our transport program. I started working at Brother Wolf in 2014 and animal rescue has changed my life forever!
I’m currently a student at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College as part of the Veterinary Technology program. My goal is to stay in animal welfare for the rest of my life, forever saving those who have saved me. Once a week, I volunteer at Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary in Black Mountain.
My home is filled with lots of love from three rescues — a tan pit mix named Chief, a red and white pit mix named Eve, and a kitten named Athena. We enjoy hiking and swimming when we can find the time (yes, even the kitten)!
Animal Care Technician
I started working in the kennel in the summer of 2016 after completing an animal care internship. I love the tangible compassion I feel in the mood and actions of my co-workers every day. I also love seeing the change in dogs as they grow and become more and more interactive with humans if they have come to us scared.
In my free time I enjoy reading and doing anything active — like hiking, taking long walks, and climbing trees.
Rutherford County Chapter Manager
I am a lifelong resident of Rutherford County NC. I’m a mother of three and love spending time with my human, canine, and feline family. I also foster for Brother Wolf.
A few years ago, I became actively involved in animal rescue after visiting the local shelter to adopt and realizing just how many adoptable pets were being euthanized. I began finding ways to encourage other rescues to pull from the small, rural county shelter. I began fostering animals, helping with transportation, and enhancing animal profiles to give potential adopters a better idea of personalities.
Brother Wolf and the animals of Rutherford County have my heart and dedication. It is an honor and dream come true to continue to represent such an admirable organization as the Rutherford County Chapter Manger.
I was born and raised in Asheville and have been with Brother Wolf since 2011, volunteering for several years before becoming staff. I have 4 dogs — Lucy, a Greyhound, Coco, a Beagle/Jack Russell mix, Darla, a Terrier mix, and Elvis, a Plott Hound. Darla and Elvis were adopted from Brother Wolf.
In my free time, I love joining the Outward Hounds Hiking Club, where I’ve made many new friends of both the 2-legged and 4-legged variety. During the summer months, my husband and I enjoy camping and hiking with our dogs.
Dickenson County Chapter Manager
I am a lifelong resident of Dickenson County and have been involved in animal rescue since I was 7 years old. I fostered and volunteered with Brother Wolf for 4 years before becoming the chapter manager in 2016.
I have 3 dogs and 2 cats of my own. All are rescues, including one Brother Wolf “foster fail”. I am a proud wife and mother of 2 beautiful girls, who are just as compassionate about rescue as I am.
I feel very privileged to be a part of such a wonderful, compassionate organization, and I’m proud to serve as Dickenson County’s Chapter Manager.
Education Outreach Manager
I traded the sandy shores of Florida’s west coast for Western North Carolina’s mountain splendor to attend graduate school at the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2012. After earning my master’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, I’ve made Asheville my permanent home and wouldn’t have it any other way. I love all activities that involve being outdoors, with animals and water!
With over eight years of experience as a high school teacher in public schools, charter schools, and alternative learning programs, I’ve learned that educating the mind without educating the heart is truly no education at all. Community outreach, leadership, compassionate citizenship, and multicultural awareness has always remained at the forefront of my practice and I incorporate my experience in curriculum development and teaching with the principles of humane education for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s Education Outreach programming.
Animal Care Technician
I started working at Brother Wolf in October, 2016 shortly after coming back home to Asheville from Statesville, where I completed dog training school. I work in the kennels where I’ve gotten to know and send home some truly great dogs. Two of my childhood dogs, Caspian and Ramses, where adopted from Brother Wolf, so I am always happy to see people come into the shelter knowing we can send them home with the perfect fit for their family. I also own a dog training and detection business that keeps me busy in my off hours. I live with two amazing dogs, Vera Lynn, a Plott Hound and Porter, a Doberman mix, who I’ve trained in mold detection.
Rev. Paula Dicks
McDowell County, Second Chances Thrift Store
I am from Matthews, North Carolina. I got started in animal rescue as a community service project for a martial arts school when I was younger and found my love for dogs and cats. I have been working with and training service dogs for a handful of years. With a background in Ministry, Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, I just want to serve. It is an honor to be part of this awesome organization and exciting to be on the front lines to help establish it in McDowell County!
Second Chances Thrift Assistant
I am an Asheville native and I have been an animal lover for my entire life. At home, I have six animals — four dogs, a cat, and a bird. In my free time I love to craft, refurbish furniture, spend time with family and friends, and go camping.
I’m originally from Timmonsville, SC. I moved to Asheville in 2012 to live in a more animal friendly community and to work in a field that save the lives of animals. I started working at Brother Wolf in 2013 and I am currently working on my RVT degree.
While I originally dreamed of working in a veterinary hospital, I have found that shelter medicine is just as challenging and possibly even more rewarding. The animals that I get to see, help, and treat at Brother Wolf are often so thankful that someone is taking the time to care for them the way they deserved to be cared for. I get to meet them when they first come into the adoption center and watch them go home with their forever families. There is nothing that compares to that feeling.
Animal Care Technician
I’ve been working for Brother Wolf since August of 2013 and was a regular volunteer prior to that. I’ve lived with animals my entire life and enjoy working with and caring for them. I have dogs, cats, chickens, horses, honeybees and even a feral little foster gerbil! I work in the kennel with the dogs, and also up front with the kitties.
I’ve lived in Asheville for my entire life and enjoy hiking, gardening and just generally spending time outdoors.
Working here at Brother Wolf has offered me the opportunity to work with all kinds of animals and has equipped me with experience and knowledge in the animal care field.
I grew up in Georgia but moved to the Asheville area in February 2017. I started working for Brother Wolf shortly after. I love helping animals find their forever homes! When I’m not at work I’m hiking with my dog or practicing yoga.
I have worked in animal rescue and activism for 10 years now. I have gained experience with different animal rights organizations across the country — from mucking stalls at Farm Sanctuary in California to touring the country’s college campuses with a video showing the cruelty of animal agriculture.
The thing I love about being part of Brother Wolf is that our compassion extends beyond the animals we traditionally share our homes with. With our work at the Sanctuary, we are demonstrating to the community just how wonderful these animals are that typically end up on dinner plates.
When I am not working at the adoption center, I am probably at my off-the-grid farm in Clyde, NC spending time with my pigs and chickens. I also enjoy being involved in the local animal activist group Asheville Voice for Animals to push for better laws and ordinances for animals in our area!
I’ve worked with a variety of animals throughout my life – from working under a wildlife rehabber to Loggerhead sea turtle conservation, doggie daycares, and veterinary hospitals. Some of my favorite experiences occurred when I lived in India and worked at a cattle sanctuary and dog hospital. While most of my familiarity is with farmed animals and wildlife, I have loved working with the dogs and cats at Brother Wolf.
When not at the adoption center, I am usually with my own dog or at the Brother Wolf Sanctuary enjoying the company of the cows and pigs. I love being part of an organization that does not limit its extension of empathy to just dogs and cats. Brother Wolf is truly a model of uncompromised compassion.
Donor Relations Manager
I moved to Asheville in 2013 with my husband, Paul, and our 2 daughters, 6 dogs and 2 cats. We fell in love with Brother Wolf immediately.
I have been working in animal welfare for over 20 years between starting and running a successful mobile spay/neuter clinic with Paul in New Orleans, managing the planned giving department at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah, and working for Alley Cat Allies in Maryland.
I love getting acquainted with our wonderful supporters and volunteers. I’m so happy to be part of such a compassionate organization where people value the lives of all animals and everyone does their best to make sure each animal is loved and cared for, even when it is a long and difficult journey. As the mom of a formerly feral dog, I know it is possible to reach them when we slow things down to their pace and give them time to come out of their shells.
When I’m not working, I enjoy vegan cooking, reading, and hanging out with my big, wonderful family…that now includes 2 more cats adopted from Brother Wolf. In the warmer months, I love float trips down the French Broad River.
No-Kill Community Development Manager
I moved to Asheville from Dickenson County, VA 27 years ago and adopted my first rescue dog shortly after. I began fostering for Brother Wolf in 2012 and found that the work inspired me to want to do more to help animals. Dickenson County now has its own Brother Wolf chapter and are well on their way to becoming a No-Kill community. I am excited and blessed to work with the amazing team at Brother Wolf. In my time off, I enjoy playing softball and spending time with my family, friends, and fur kids.
Tristan Rehner-Fleurant, MS, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CBATI
Animal Behavior Manager
I have been working primarily with sheltered and rescued animals since I started training dogs almost 20 years ago (yikes!). I feel privileged to have been a part of Brother Wolf, first as a volunteer then as an employee, since we first moved into the Adoption Center on Glendale Ave. in 2009.
I love having the opportunity to help animals who might otherwise not be given a second chance, as well as supporting our staff, volunteers, fosters and adopters. In addition to my work at Brother Wolf, I am one of the founders of Pet Behavior Aid, a non-profit organization that provides training and behavior support to help keep pets in their homes, and I also volunteer with the Literacy Council of Buncombe County.
When I’m not at Brother Wolf I might be hiking with one of my three dogs or watching Orphan Black with my cat.
Intake Manager, Front Desk Supervisor
I began working at Brother Wolf in 2012 after a few years of fostering. I held several positions during my time here, including Animal Care Technician, Adoption Counselor, ReTail clerk, and Critter Camp director, before becoming the Intake Manager and Front Desk Supervisor. I come to work every day excited for what I do. It’s the most meaningful work I’ve ever found.
At home I have 3 dogs (Oliver, Ruby May, and Luke) and 2 cats (Theodore and Wynn), all from Brother Wolf. In my free time, I enjoy playing disc golf, playing soccer, traveling, and checking out different breweries.