By July 28, 2013

Friends of Ashe County Animals…Helping Animals at McGrady’s Former Shelter

The namesake of Fabulous McGrady and Friends Foundation, McGrady, hails from Ashe County (NC) Animal Control, a very rural animal shelter whose staff saved him despite suspecting his deafness.  About a year after McGrady’s adoption, his guardian discovered that the shelter did not have all the donor and rescue resources she’d assumed they had to have had to give a deaf dog like McGrady a chance.  Thus, the group “Friends of Ashe County Animals” (FACA) was formed with the hope that the founder (McGrady’s guardian) could use the reputable rescue connections and skills acquired through years of involvement in dog rescue to facilitate connecting highly adoptable dogs and cats from Ashe County Animal Control (ACAC) with reputable, approved rescues.  FACA was established as a sub-group under the umbrella of Fabulous McGrady and Friends Foundation.

Working with the Lead ACO of ACAC, a formal process was established for approval of rescues wanting to pull animals from the shelter to insure these animals were going to quality, legitimate rescues.   The founder of FACA realized that 2 of the biggest barriers standing between highly adoptable shelter animals and quality rescues outside the region were (1) the physical location of the shelter up tortuous Blue Ridge Mountain roads at least 2-3 hours away from the nearest interstate and high-density population area and (2) the lack of volunteers for national breed-specific and larger all-breed rescues in the area.   Teaming with a local experienced animal rescuer, FACA is able to provide distant rescues with photos, videos and temperament testing of animals at the shelter.  Testing dogs with other dogs and cats provides information crucial to most rescues as most all of their foster homes have other dogs and/or cats.   With the help of gracious local volunteers, FACA facilitates getting animals with confirmed rescues to the local Vet for vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, deworming, heartworm testing and health certification (all at the receiving rescue’s expense) and then transports them “down the mountain” to meet up with transporters taking them on coordinated transports or to Pilots N Paws flights that then take them to distant rescues in the NE and MW.  Should a rescue be within the region, animals are often taken directly to that rescue’s Vet by an FACA volunteer or delivered to a point closer to a volunteer from that rescue. 

FACA’s other mission is to publicize adoptable animals to potential regional adopters.  This is accomplished through postings on Petfinder, and Petharbor (all listings are under Ashe County Animal Control).  The use of Social Media has been the centerpiece of our efforts to publicize animals to potential adopters.  The FACA Facebook page ( ) has over 1600 fans and continues to grow.  FACA is also on Twitter (@AsheNCAnimals) and hopes to expand to other forums (Pinterest, Instagram and a website) soon.   As the FACA Facebook page has grown and become more well-known amongst Ashe County/regional residents, the page has also served to reunite 6 shelter dogs with owners who were looking for them and were recognized either by the owner themselves or neighbors who then notified the owner or told us how to find them.   The page has also served as a place for Good Samaritans to post stray dogs that they’ve found in the hopes of uniting them with their owners. 

To date, FACA has helped around 150 animals to get to the safety of reputable rescue or private adoption.  Our hope is that more reputable, quality rescues will learn of our program and its quest to provide honest, accurate animal evaluations as well as make it easy for animals to get to the Vet for full vetting and to connect with rescue transports so that the location of the shelter becomes an afterthought, not a stumbling block, to getting wonderful adoptable animals from this very rural shelter to quality rescue.   We also realize that we can never “rescue our way out of” the imbalance between number of animals in need and the number of available adopters & reputable rescuers so please stay tuned for other very exciting projects on which FACA is currently working with another local animal welfare group!  We can’t wait to share those details with you in the next month!!!

HAVE A REPUTABLE RESCUE?  WANT TO HELP?  Contact  The shelter and FACA require all prospective rescues to submit a copy of their 501c3, Adoption Application, Adoption Contract, name/contact information of Veterinarian as part of the rescue approval process.  

Posted in: Rural Shelters

About the Author:

McGrady is a 5.5 year old Aussie passing on the kindness of the rural shelter staff who saved him via his foundation that provides rural shelter assistance, promoting deaf dog fabulosity & just having fun with his siblings and foster pups!

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