Since her childhood, Angie Wilt has had an intrinsic connection with animals and a deep sense of responsibility to understand and enrich their experience as our cohorts on this earth. She has spent the last decade of her life working tirelessly in the Asheville animal welfare community, committed to raising the standard of care in sheltering to improve the lives of local animals. Early in her career, as the Director of Operations for the Animal Compassion Network, Angie quickly saw the stressful effects of the sheltering environment on the animals staying there; and consequently began seeking and acquiring knowledge about providing enrichment, and mental and emotional support to the animals in her shelter. This research and application continued throughout Angie’s years in the animal welfare field.
Not too long into her employment with ACN, Angie met Kim Brophey – owner of The Dog Door -through some behavior consultations she performed on dogs that had just come to the rescue from Mexico. Angie felt immediate intrigue and respect for the consultation process and what Kim Brophey modeled to her that day. Through this experience, Angie developed a ravenous appetite for any knowledge about animal behavior. She attended seminars taught at AB Tech by Kim, studied animal behavior science, attended dog training classes; performed assessments and worked behavior modification programs with the dogs at ACN. She devoured books by Temple Grandin, Karen Pryor, Alexandra Horowitz, Ray Coppinger, Jean Donaldson and their contemporaries. Angie and Kim became fast friends and colleagues with a mutual passion for dog behavior science and a strong drive to improve the canine experience in our ever-changing culture.
In 2013, ACN merged with Asheville Humane Society (AHS) and Angie became the Director of Operations for AHS. Through her new role, she had direct oversight of all operations and programing on the Buncombe County Animal Care Campus. One of her tasks was to develop a comprehensive behavioral program for the shelter animals. Angie began collaborating with The Dog Door to pilot a new program that would look at and treat dogs holistically while bringing genetics into the conversation of behavior, enrichment and training. With the help of The Dog Door, a brilliant staff and amazing volunteers, Asheville Humane Society’s began a well-known behavior program that serves as an essential part of the animals’ experience and well-being on the Buncombe County Animal Care Campus.
Angie is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators as well as the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She has been deployed as a responder for the ASPCA and has assisted the Criminal Investigations team in 2 high-profile cruelty cases. She has served on the Board of the North Carolina Animal Federation and is a recent graduate of Leadership Asheville.
Angie has thoroughly enjoyed her role in the Animal Welfare field. Her years of experience working with this population of dogs gives her an added perspective to certain behaviors, how to manage them in different environments and how to communicate the nuances of behavior and behavior modification to clients. She especially has a soft spot for fearful dogs and takes any opportunity she can to foster and work with them. Watching animals being relinquished to the shelter or passed over for adoption day after day for reasons having to do with behavior has given her a profound understanding of the dire need for a paradigm shift both in how we see our four-legged family members and the best way to help them integrate into this modern world. This shift is being fueled in Asheville through the Dog Door and with Dog City USA and Angie is extremely grateful to be an active part in this monumental movement.