Building Fences - Helping Communities

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ChainFree Asheville

This website is designed to serve as the online headquarters for both ChainFree Asheville and UnChain Buncombe, our latest effort to help chained dogs in Buncombe County. Here you will find lots of good information about the act of chaining and how to help chained dogs.

ChainFree Asheville was established in July, 2008 and we were recognized by the IRS as an official 501-c-3 in February, 2009. During these past few years we have freed more than 125 dogs from the 24/7 chain in Asheville and Buncombe County, plus provided spay/neuter services, dog houses and basic veterinary services to them. We were the first organization in Western North Carolina which acts as canine social workers, going to the homes of these dogs, talking with the family, building fences with the guardians and providing educational materials to help them manage. ChainFree Asheville was instrumental in the adoption of the current City of Asheville animal ordinance which bans unattended tethering of dogs.  As part of our commitment to the new ordinance, we built fences for three years for eligible Asheville residents who needed help to comply by freeing their dogs from their chains.

Unchain Buncombe is our current campaign to repeat the success we had in the City of Asheville.  Today, we are focused on the chained dogs in Buncombe County and the change in the county animal ordinance to ban chaining. (Click on "Buncombe Ordinance" to learn of our efforts to get an ordinance to ban chaining.) We are using the same approach as we used in Asheville...... be part of the solution.... educate people as to the public safety and humane issues of chained dogs and provide assistance in getting their dogs off the chain.  With our mission accomplished in Asheville by late 2011, we have been totally devoted to Buncombe County.  If you know of a chained dog or family in the county that could use our services, please contact us.

Along with her passion for the cause, our late founder, Peggy Irwin, knew that it takes the time and compassion of many people to achieve the goal of unchaining all dogs. And because we are blessed with such a significant animal welfare community in Western North Carolina, anything is possible.  Like any non-profit organization, we are constantly in need of the help of volunteers to build fences (we promise you will feel something special when you see the dogs run free in their new fenced yard!) and financial contributions to fund our efforts.  Please consider either one of these methods of supporting us. 

You can sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch and learn of our fencing activities and efforts to get the County animal ordinance changed. 

Please explore our website to learn more about us and if you have any questions, contact us by calling (828) 450-7736 or emailing


© 2022 ChainFree Asheville and UnChain Buncombe • 828-450-7736 • Contact Us