About Us

Any shelter is only as good as the people who work there. We take pride in the level of care and commitment that our staff demonstrates daily. Their jobs are not just jobs to them. Each of them truly loves the animals in their care, and they do their best to make sure the dog and cat residents are healthy and happy and that their environment is comfortable and clean.

Our Shelter Team

Renee Tomberlin, Shelter Director

I began working at the Humane Society in 2011 as a kennel tech. Under the supervision of the former Director I learned about animal behavior and basic shelter medicine. I am a Certified Rabies Vaccinator and a Certified Euthanasia Technician. I took over as Director in October of 2015 and have been challenged and rewarded while learning how to run the shelter! I have had many different careers in the past from Special Education to Social Services, to helping my husband run a business, but nothing speaks to my soul like being here at the shelter. I have so many ideas and initiatives all aimed at helping us become the best shelter we can possibly be. My favorite breed is the German Shepherd Dog but I love all dogs and cats who come through our door! I am the proud mother of four grownup human children and two wonderful dogs, a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever.

Robert Delfoe, Assistant Shelter Director

Robert brings his love of animals and experience managing hotels together here at YCHS. He and his wife are originally from NY, and are building their own animal rescue operation in Burnsville. They are currently raising horses, caring for many cats, and loving a big ol’ mastiff named Zeus.

Julia Edson, Kennel Supervisor

Julia started with the YHS as a kennel tech, was promoted to Office Assistant and Spay/Neuter Coordinator and is now the Kennel Supervisor! Julia splits her time between the front desk and supervising the kennels. Julia is passionate about the animals in our care and it is evident in everything she does.

Emily Cramp, Interim Med Tech

Emily is currently enrolled in the Registered Veterinary Technician program at AB Tech. When she is not in school, she loans us her talent and knowledge in making sure that all the animals have an intake exam and proper vaccinations, and she provides ongoing medical care within our scope. She is also responsible for all the data entry and upkeep for all medical issues and medications given which is a huge job!

WJ Cunningham, Bookkeeper

WJ takes care of our daily accounting functions. He watches our cash flow making sure that bills are paid on time and he also manages our Human Resource Department, maintaining staff Personnel files and payroll.

Our Office Assistants

Our office assistants work the front desk and are the first faces our customers see when they walk in the door. They wear many hats and perform a wide variety of administrative duties. We could not function without these hard working ladies!

Charlene Ihrig
Della Fox
Cyndi Leggett

Our Kennel Technicians

Our team of kennel technicians is second to none. These dedicated animal lovers come to work each day enthusiastic and ready to provide the highest standard of care possible. They are the backbone of the YHS and are greatly appreciated. 

Yancey County Humane Society would not be the shelter it is today ​without the help from our amazing team!


Our Goals, Mission, and Values

Mission: It is the mission of the Yancey County Humane Society to provide shelter and care for homeless, injured and neglected animals through adoption, community outreach, retention services, and educational programs.

Vision: For all companion animals to live free of cruelty and suffering in a community where their lives are valued by responsible guardians.

The Goals of YHS

  • To provide immediate safe shelter for our rescued animals where they stay until they are ready to be placed for adoption.
  • To provide up to date vaccinations and spaying and neutering services for our rescued animals.
  • To help keep people with their pets by donating food and helping them find low cost veterinary clinics.
  • To educate the public about proper animal care and pet overpopulation.
  • We always seek to reunite cats and dogs with their rightful owners, first and foremost. But failing that, we strive to help them become adoptable animals and place them in the best possible homes.
  • To provide support to our animal community by providing free dog and cat food in times of need, thus helping animals remain in their homes and providing low cost spay and neuter programs to county residents.  In addition we offer rabies shots by appointment throughout the year to residents.

Shelter Statistics: 2020/2021

2020 Statistics

Total Intake 971
Returned to Owners111
Adopted/Transferred to Rescue 761
Personal Surrenders275
Brought in by Animal Control76

2021 Statistics

Total Intake 1113
Returned to Owners127
Adopted/Transferred to Rescue 967
Personal Surrenders371
Brought in by Animal Control75
The overall live release rate for both 2020 and 2021 was 97%, a number that  we are proud of.  There were no animals euthanized for time or space. As indicated by the numbers, euthanasia is a last resort and only used in the most extreme of circumstances.

The Barkin Basement

Located at 627 W. Main Street, Burnsville, NC, The Barkin Basement is our resale store where 100% of the profits fund the shelter!
Hours of Operations:
Monday- Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

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  • Donations of new and used items are accepted at the store during operating hours. 
  • New volunteers are always needed! In addition to helping out the shelter animals, it’s a wonderful way to make new friends. And the Barkin’ Basement volunteers do like to have FUN! 
  • By shopping and donating to the Barkin’ Basement, you are supporting the homeless and unwanted animals of Yancey County.

Meet the Barkin Basement Staff

Join Our Team!

​​Your Work Can Save Lives

You don’t have to be a veterinarian to help us improve the lives of animals.

But you do need to be high-energy and customer-service oriented!
If you are, the Yancey County Humane Society may be a great place for you to work.

We are committed to training all of our employees,
​and to ensuring they have the skills necessary to work in a shelter environment. Our goal is to work hard to save the lives of hundreds of animals each year. You can become a part of this rewarding experience by applying for one of our positions today!

The Yancey County Humane Society is an equal opportunity employer. 
​In addition, YCHS complies with applicable laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.