After witnessing growing stray cat populations and high shelter euthanasia rates, four friends knew they had to do something. In 2012, they created FUR of Western NC, operating out of a barn at local horse rescue Star Ranch. But Cynthia Henderson, Rachel West, Jamie Powell and Judy Vail dreamed of doing something more. In 2014, they made that dream a reality, completing construction of a cage-free, no-kill, last-chance sanctuary in February and then receiving 503(c) non-profit status in July. Together, they wanted to provide a safe haven for cats to reduce the homeless population and shelter euthanasia rates and to fill a gap in the rescue community. Ten years later, that remains FUR’s mission.


What We Do

FUR rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes abused, abandoned and neglected cats in western NC. We firmly believe that any cat is adoptable; some just take longer to find the right human. As such, we provide care for more than 100 cats in our sanctuary, in foster homes and in cat colonies across the community.


How We Do It

FUR is a private sanctuary funded almost exclusively by donations and staffed almost exclusively by volunteers. There, our volunteers care for more than 80 cats who are awaiting a furever home. Along with our foster families, we provide food, shelter, love, socialization and enrichment to every cat every day of the year. We also ensure all cats are spayed/neutered, microchipped, protected against fleas and ticks, tested for diseases and current on vaccines. We seek veterinary care for our cats and manage their medications when needed.

Finally, we rehome as many cats as possible, but only after a thorough adoption process. One of our lead volunteers meets with the adopter, checks personal and veterinarian references, and receives landlord approval (if appropriate). Cats who are not yet adoptable are welcome to live at FUR for as long as it takes. We ONLY euthanize cats if they are in declining health and have a poor quality of life.

FUR also feeds and monitors many feral colonies and helps cat parents and supports caretakers so their cats can continue to live in a safe, known location.


Inspected and Managed

FUR is bound by all government rules and regulations for animal shelters and is periodically inspected by a NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services inspector. You can read the latest inspection report here.


FUR is a 503(c) non-profit organization.