Animal Control  

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of animal control for Buncombe County outside municipal limits. They can be reached at 250-6670. The Asheville Humane Society manages the Buncombe County Animal Shelter.

Buncombe County Animal Control services include

Asheville Humane Society services include:

Asheville Humane Society manages the Animal Care Campus at 14 and 16 Forever Friend Lane off of I-26 and Brevard Road, behind Deal Motor Cars, providing shelter services, lost and found, adoptions, and promoting the humane treatment of animals.

Shelter Hours:

Monday - Saturday
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday & Monday

Adoption Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Visit their website at

For information about animal shelter issues, contact 250-6430.

For any animal control issues please call 250-6670.


Any person living within the city limits of Asheville who owns, keeps, or has custody of a dog is required to obtain a city license tag annually. The annual fee is $10. City license tags can be purchased at City Hall in Asheville.

The following applies to all County residents living in the unincorporated areas:

  • Any person living the in unincorporated areas shall not own or harbor any dog or cat over the age of six months that has not been spayed or neutered unless such person holds an unaltered animal permit issued for such animal by the department of animal services, or any successor agency authorized by law to issue such a permit, except:
    1. Persons who own or harbor service dogs or police work dogs;
    2. Individuals who are non-residents of the county and reside temporarily therein for a period not to exceed 30 days;
    3. Animal shelters and veterinary hospitals; and
    4. Persons who own or harbor a dog or cat and who are in possession of a certification signed by a licensed veterinarian stating that such animal is unfit to be spayed or neutered because such procedure would endanger the life of such animal.

How to Obtain an unaltered animal permit:

  • Applicants must apply for an unaltered animal permits with Lt. Kevin Calhoun, Director of Animal Services, 250-6670. Applications for said permit are available at the Sheriff’s Office at 202 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville.
  • The fee for an unaltered animal permit shall be $100. A tag will be issued identifying the animal as an unaltered animal and must be displayed at all times.

Rabies Vaccination

State law requires that all cats and dogs four months of age and older receive a rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office offers a low cost rabies vaccination clinic. The cost is $10 cash per animal. To receive further details and location information concerning this clinic call (828) 250-6670.

Restraint of Animals

The city and county animal ordinances mandate that every person owning or having possession, charge, care, custody or control of any animal shall keep such animal exclusively upon his premises.  However, such animal may be off such premises if it is under the physical control of a competent person and restrained by a chain, leash, harness or other means of physical control.  Beginning October 15, 2007 any animal found running at large, in accordance with the ordinance definition, will be impounded.  If an owner can not be easily found the animal will be taken to the county animal shelter and will be micro-chipped, at the owners expense, before being released to the owner.

Animal Cruelty

It is unlawful for any owner to fail to provide his or her animal with sufficient food, water, and protection from the weather. Owners must provide veterinary care and humane treatment.


Western North Carolina has experienced an increase in its human population, leading to a decrease in natural habitats for wildlife. If you are having a problem with nuisance wildlife, Asheville Humane Society recommends the following: remove any or all available food sources, and place garbage in garbage cans and secure the lids. Call the Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-800-662-7137 for further helpful information.

Animal Adoption

Asheville Humane Society offers a wide variety of animals for adoption at their Adoption Center located at 14 Forever Friend Lane in West Asheville.

Hours for adoption are:
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

The cost of adopting a dog or cat is $50 - $125. This fee includes spaying or neutering, initial vaccines and flea treatment, a microchip, a free initial appointment from a Buncombe County veterinarian after adoption and one month of free veterinary health insurance. We will also provide a starter bag of Science Diet pet food, cardboard carrying case for cat adopters and informative literature and DVD to help make the adoption a success. All animals are spayed or neutered before leaving the Adoption Center.

Lost or Found Animals

If you have lost your pet, call the Buncombe County Animal Shelter immediately at (828) 250-6430. File a lost report with the shelter and plan to come to the shelter at least every other day to personally look for your pet.

If you have found an animal, call the Buncombe County Animal Shelter and file a found report or bring the animal to the shelter. The Buncombe County Animal Shelter is located at 16 Forever Friend Lane in West Asheville.

The hours to file a lost or found report or to bring in a stray animal are:
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday: CLOSED

Helpful Links

Assistance with Pet Expenses

Pet Friendly Housing in Asheville

Low Cost Vaccinations