Photo courtesy of the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center
We dog lovers know that with their puppy daycare, breweries that accept dogs and Dog Welcome Center, Asheville earns its reputation as Dog City, USA. But did you know that dog love also extends to homeless dogs? In addition to our rescue area + shelters, we also shelter the ASPCA Behavioral Research Center – the first permanent installation dedicated to rehabilitate extremely fearful, subsocialized + unavoidable homeless dogs.
Open since 2018, the 28,000 square feet center – located in Weaverville – covers 13 acres and focuses on dogs that have been victims in cases of cruelty to animals, such as those who come from puppy factories + accumulation situations. They do not accept dogs belonging to the general public. The facility has the capacity to handle up to 65 dogs at any time, and the team – which includes veterinarians, researchers studying canine behavioral therapy and dog trainers using gentle, scientifically proven training methods – works for reduce anxiety in dogs, teach socialization, and prepare them for adoption, a process that usually takes about 3 months.
Curiosity: many of the techniques used in the program were created during a 4-year pilot behavioral rehabilitation program in New Jersey, which saw the ASPCA successfully rehabilitate More than 300 dogs suffering from serious behavior problems. Since the program began, more than 440 dogs have graduated, and in 2020, 64 graduated dogs and 27 they were placed with foster families.
O Caution that the BRC dogs demand is highly specialized, as well as their rooms. Dogs live in specialized kennels, and in addition to dog rescue techniques. acclimatize to real life situations, how to be petted and walking on a leash, the center also has rooms that are modeled after kitchens + living rooms to help expose dogs to the types of things they will find in a home environment.
Although the center does not offer full adoption, it works with rescue groups and shelters across the country, including the Asheville Humane Society + Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, to place the dogs when they are ready for adoption. Graduated canines of the program – how sweet Ajax, shown here – are placed with shelters and rescue groups across the country for adoption.
Do you want to continue with the program? The organization offers voluntary opportunities, but due to the pandemic, they are not looking for people to help in the building now. Your real need is to promotion for graduates of the program. Get more information and fill out an adoption form here.