Why a Dog and Cat Sanctuary?

image of denise in field with dogAt Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, our vision is for a community that embraces our core ethic of Uncompromised Compassion. Our mission, the work we do every day toward that vision, is to provide the resources and life-saving programs to help build a No Kill Community.

In 2013, over 1,900 dogs and cats lost their lives in the Buncombe County Animal Shelter. Over 1,000 of those were cats, including approximately 700 outdoor (feral) cats and about 300 orphaned pet cats and kittens with medical or behavioral issues. Over 900 orphaned dogs and puppies with medical and/or behavioral issues were euthanized as well. In 2014, the county shelter euthanized just under 1,000 animals. We’re making good progress, but we still have much work to do on behalf of the animals to achieve a truly sustainable No Kill community.

Our four-point plan to help achieve a sustainable No Kill community includes: (1) doubling our adoption and foster efforts; (2) managing a county-wide community cats program; (3) organizing a grassroots network to help families in need with at-risk pets; and (4) providing sanctuary care for special needs animals requiring longer-term behavioral or medical rehabilitation.

The first three programs above are now fully operational and helping save record numbers of lives. To fulfill our mission programming, we are now very pleased to announce the launch of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary.

Tristen and her friendThe Sanctuary will provide critical care for those dogs and cats so abused and neglected that they require longer term, more specialized rehabilitation. In addition, the Sanctuary will be an educational resource for area youth to learn about our responsibilities to animals, nature, and society. Indeed, we intend for the Sanctuary to be a haven and destination for people from all over the world to connect with nature and the animals in our care, and hopefully be inspired to do something amazing in their own lives.

The Sanctuary will be located on a majestic, 82.5 acre property in Leicester, NC, just 20 minutes from downtown Asheville. The acreage is a beautiful mix of rolling pasture and mountainside forest, with three natural springs on site.

The Sanctuary will be developed in three phases over a five-year period. Phase I will focus on Dog Village, the Dog Park, the Sanctuary veterinary clinic, and Sanctuary utilities and infrastructure. Phase II will include Cat Village, the Learning Center, and Guest Cabins. Phase III will provide renovation to the Welcome Center, additional guest cabins, and a Memorial and Reflection Garden.

A very generous, anonymous donor has helped us secure purchase of the property. Now, we are working to meet a $400K Matching Gift Challenge to help develop the Dog Village, and Dog Park, Sanctuary Clinic and infrastructure of Phase One. Please read on to learn how you can become a Founding Supporter of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary and help us fulfill this amazing opportunity.

Please email for information about memorial donations and naming opportunities to support the new Sanctuary

Please Click here to become a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary

From Our Founder


Dear friend,

I am so, SO very excited to tell you that, today, we are officially launching our Campaign to build Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary! Wait till you see the plans!

ToniThis sanctuary will forever change the equation for special needs animals in our area. Animals like Toni here, who was kept her whole life on a chain, all alone with nobody to love- and no one to love her back. When her owners got tired of feeding her, they brought her to the shelter in a large Tupperware container. I will never forget the look on her face. She was so scared and confused.

She had been treated so long as if she didn’t matter, she was completely withdrawn and afraid. Of course, she has major trust issues with humans– and who can blame her? She deserved so much better.

It has been a really long road to helping Toni learn to trust again. And she is still not quite there- not quite ready to be integrated into a home environment just yet.

Sadly, there are so many animals in the shelter system like Toni who need to heal from a lifetime of hurt– it takes time and patience. Many are in need of advanced medical care as well, stemming from a lifetime of neglect. These longer term cases are why our sanctuary is the critical missing resource to helping achieve a truly sustainable no kill community.

We’ve been hard at work over the past year or so, getting ready for this announcement: we’ve raised funds to purchase the perfect property for our Sanctuary. We’ve worked with architects and engineers to get our plans in place (wait till you see!). And we’ve met with caring citizens across our community to secure the seed money to launch our campaign.

sanc-photosNow we’re ready to go public! The first phase of the Sanctuary will include Dog Village, the Sanctuary Dog Park, and the Sanctuary Clinic. The second phase will include the Cat Village, a Learning Center (for youth programs and humane education) and Guest Cabins for visitors and volunteers. And the Third Phase will include an upgrade to our Welcome Center and Tours, a Memorial and Reflection Garden, and Group Cabins for youth groups, family reunions and corporate retreats.

People from all walks of life will come from all over to give themselves to this work. I promise you, this will be a place of healing and transformation for both animals and people. For a few hours or a few days- folks will come to the sanctuary from all over, to give of themselves to others in need. This sanctuary will attract them. And lives will be forever changed for the better– the orphaned animals in our care- and the people who care for them.

sanctuary-hillsAre you seeing it? I hope so, because I need you to help us build it! We have a huge opportunity right now, thanks to the Donald C. Jones Foundation. They have extended an amazing Matching Gift Challenge of $400,000 to help build Phase One of the Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary!

Over the past several months, we’ve worked with local philanthropists to raise about $240,000 towards the challenge goal. Now we are going public to ask our friends and supporters to help us raise the rest.

Please click here to visit our Sanctuary page and learn how you can become a Founding Donor of the new Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary. I know that this sanctuary will forever change the lives of so many animals and people for the better!

For all the animals,

Denise Bitz President and Founder Brother Wolf Animal Rescue

PS. This is a big next step for compassion and kindness in our community. Please forward to anyone you know who might be interested in becoming a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary. Thank you.

Please email for information about memorial donations and naming opportunities to support the new Sanctuary

Please Click here to become a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary
village cropped

The mission of Dog Village at Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary is to provide critical care for those dogs so abused and neglected, they require longer-term, more specialized rehabilitation.

• Dog Village will have an annual capacity of 600 special needs dogs.

• The “Old Dogs” (Full Octagon) Super-Villa will include 16 Suites with a capacity of 4-6 dogs per suite.

• The Five “Active Dogs” (Half Octagon) Villas will include eight Suites with a capacity of 4-6 dogs per suite.

• The Dog Park will include a water feature for hydrotherapy, and play areas for socialization and enrichment.

Half Octagon Entrance
Full Octagon Interior Food Prep
Half Ocatgon Interior
Dog Habitat View
Please Click here to become a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary

Architect Design by Modus Operandi

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The mission of the Sanctuary Dog Park is to provide a safe, fun environment for the physical, psychological, and social enrichment of the dogs in our care.

Dogs are highly social animals and learn most efficiently from other dogs. That’s why Managed Play Groups are a key part of our approach to long-term behavioral rehabilitation. The Sanctuary Dog Park will enable our behavioral team to coordinate play times of carefully matched playmates to help diminish fear and aggression issues, and to learn necessary life skills through play.

Plus, a tired dog is a healthy, happy dog! Research shows that dogs who get safe, consistent off-leash play with other dogs eat and sleep better, and learn social skills much faster.

Key features of Sanctuary Dog Park:

• Secure double-gate entry and safety fencing around park perimeter

• Dog agility course and equipment for physical and mental enrichment

• Water recycling and filtration system for water park

Please Click here to become a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary
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The mission of the Sanctuary Veterinary Clinic is to provide the highest standard of medical support for the dogs, cats and other orphaned animals in our care.

This state of the art facility will provide the most up-to-date, cutting edge support for our daily medical, surgical, and diagnostic needs.

Dog Waiting Area
Cat Waiting Area
Treatment Area
Exam Room

Brother Wolf receives no government funding for our rescue work, and we currently spend over $30K per month in retail medical expenses.

Bringing medical services in-house, with an on-site veterinarian and medical staff, will easily double our capacity for medical care without increasing monthly expenses!

Please Click here to become a Founding Donor of Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary

Architect Design by Modus Operandi

Phase Two Campaign Starts in 2016

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CAT VILLAGE for special needs cats and kittens
learning Center
LEARNING CENTER youth programs and humane education
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GUEST CABINS for Sanctuary volunteers and visitors

Phase Three Campaign Starts in 2017

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WELCOME CENTER welcome center and tours expansion
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MEMORIAL MEADOW memorial and reflection garden
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GROUP CABINS larger cabins for youth groups, company retreats, etc.


Visit Our Adoption Center • 31 Glendale Avenue • Asheville NC • 28803
Send Donations To: P.O. Box 8195 • Asheville NC • 28814
828-505-3440 • email:
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is a 501(c)(3) Tax Deductible Corporation