Visitors and residents alike find that Hendersonville is a welcoming place not only for them but also for their animal companions.
Any day along the streets of downtown, people can be seen strolling with their dogs and relaxing with their four-legged friends outside at restaurants, coffeehouses and breweries.
For the comfort and safety of animals and to help keep downtown Hendersonville enjoyable for everyone, the city requires that pet owners keep pets leashed and under control and that they clean up and dispose of pet waste.
Pets and Downtown Events
Hendersonville hosts downtown community celebrations throughout the year. At the majority of these events – such as Garden Jubilee, the Rhythm and Brews concerts from May to September, the summer Street Dances, the Music on Main series and the North Carolina Apple Festival during Labor Day weekend – pets are not allowed.
At the Tails in Town event, however, dog lovers and their furry friends take center stage and are encouraged to attend. The summer celebration in the Historic Seventh Avenue District includes exhibitors, vendors, dog cooling stations and educational sessions.
For more about how Hendersonville is pet-friendly, go to visithendersonvillenc.org/pet-friendly.
Pets are welcome at public parks throughout Hendersonville and Henderson County. In the interest of safety and sanitation, pet owners need to keep them leashed and clean up after them.
Hendersonville also has a park specifically for dogs – Pets' Own Place on Seventh Avenue. This fenced dog park at 1019 Seventh Avenue East has two separate sections for small and large dogs. The park is across Mud Creek at the Oklawaha Greenway trailhead and has a waste bag dispenser, a trash receptacle and a water spigot.
Throughout Henderson County, there are several other dog parks:
Jackson Park at 4th Ave. East in Hendersonville features an off-leash dog area. Managed by the Henderson County Parks & Recreation Dept., Jackson Park has 212 acres of land that includes many walking trails.
Bill Moore Community Park (formerly known as Fletcher Community Park) includes a dog park. Operated by The Town of Fletcher, Bill Moore Community Park is made up 75 acres that also include walking trails and access to Cane Creek.
Mills River Park features a dog park. The 50-acre Mills River Park also includes a multi-use trail and a canoe and kayak launch on the MillsRiver.
Exploring State Parks and National Forests with Pets
Hendersonville is not far from such state parks and forests as DuPont State Recreational Forest, Holmes Educational State Forest and Chimney Rock State Park. Pets are allowed in North Carolina State Parks and State Forests as long as they are on an attended leash no longer than six feet and are under the constant control of the owner. With the exception of service animals for people with disabilities, pets are not allowed in public buildings in state parks or state forests. Henderson County residents also enjoy regional hiking and camping with their pets in Pisgah National Forest and Nantahala National Forest. Pet owners must crate, cage or restrain their pets on leashes not exceeding six feet or otherwise physically confine their pets at all times. Other than guide dogs accompanying people with visual or hearing impairments, pets are not permitted in public buildings in national forests.
Animal Adoptions, Education and More
Based in Hendersonville and serving all of Henderson County, the Blue Ridge Humane Society is a nonprofit animal welfare organization and limited admission shelter. At its Adoption Center at 88 Centipede Lane in Hendersonville, residents can adopt dogs, cats and other animals. Adoption fees include spaying or neutering, vaccinations, a veterinarian exam, deworming, a heart worm test for dogs over six months old and preventative treatment, feline leukemia and FIV tests for cats and kittens, a month of pet insurance and a starter bag of food.
Blue Ridge Humane Society also offers free-to-low-cost spay and neuter options, low-cost vaccination clinics, pet food assistance and veterinary cost assistance for residents in economic distress, re-homing listings, animal behavior training, education and outreach, and volunteer opportunities. Learn more at blueridgehumane.org or by calling 828-685-7107.
The Henderson County Animal Services Center provides shelter for adoptable and stray animals and reunites lost pets with their owners. The department keeps records of rabies cases and encourages responsible pet ownership through microchipping and anti-cruelty measures. The Center is at 828 Stoney Mountain Road in Hendersonville. Visit hendersoncountync.gov/animalservices or call 828-697-4723 for more information.
North Carolina Law Protects Pets in Vehicles
While it’s not illegal to leave pets in vehicles, doing so has the potential to be hazardous to pets. For the health and safety of animals, North Carolina law allows any animal control officer, animal cruelty investigator, law enforcement officer, firefighter or rescue squad worker who has probable cause to believe an animal is confined in a vehicle under conditions likely to cause suffering, injury or death to enter a vehicle by any reasonable means under the circumstances after trying to locate whomever is responsible for the animal. Conditions that can endanger pets include heat, cold and lack of adequate ventilation.