Lend a Hand, Shake a Paw

If you dig on dogs, you can volunteer at Asheville's Animal Compassion Network. Help an animal, get a little time in with some random Rufus. ACN's Director also clues in on a few insider tips for travelers with pets.


Just wanted to let you know of a great little opportunity for pet lovers in Asheville, NC. The Animal Compassion Network is truly a grass roots organization dedicated to animals in the area: they are dedicated to their no-kill policy and try their best to get pets into new, loving owners’ hands.

ACN’s Director, Eileen Bouressa, sent me over a little information on exactly how and why volunteering with the organization can work perfectly for travelers in the area. If you like pets and are missing your own on a trip to AVL or just want to make a new four legged friendship, be sure to check them out.

From Eileen:

Travelers are welcome at Pet Harmony, Animal Compassion Network’s Adoption Center and Pet Supply Center. Pet Harmony is less than a half mile south of Biltmore Estate and surrounded by great hotels, so we are very convenient to travelers. Instead of going to the stuffy hotel gym, they can exercise by taking one of our rescued dogs for a run or walk or just throwing the ball in the play-yard. And we encourage people to visit with our cats for adoption in the Kitty City habitats. Our kitties will soak up the attention while a busy traveler takes a few quiet minutes to unwind in a big chair by a sunny window with some felines friends. Animal Compassion Network is a safe-for-life organization, so our animals live in foster homes when not at Pet Harmony and all are guaranteed a home. So people can enjoy themselves hanging out with some really sweet animals in a bright, joyful environment without concern. Every morning, our foster dogs literally drag their foster parents to the front door to get inside to play. And chances are good visitors will see a lot of cats and dogs getting great new homes while they are there. Pet Harmony is a really fun, unique place to visit.

Your readers can also shop in the retail part of Pet Harmony and bring back a really cool toy or treat or locally made sweater or hand-tooled leash for the four-legged family member they are missing. (One hundred percent of proceeds from all retail sales go to ACN’s rescue work.) Or if the travelers are fortunate enough to be able to bring their pet with them, we encourage them to stay at the Hilton Biltmore Park. Not only is the hotel pet friendly, but they donate $5 to Animal Compassion Network every time a guest stays with their pet through the Stay Hilton, Stay! Program. So visitors to Asheville who don’t have time to volunteer can still help us save lives just by choosing to stay at a compassionate hotel like Hilton Biltmore Park.

Learn more about the Animal Compassion Network at their website.