News obit: Peggy Irwin, founder of ChainFree Asheville

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Peggy Irwin, founder of ChainFree Asheville, has died. She was 64.

ChainFree Asheville works to free chained dogs by building fences, and has freed over 100 dogs to date from life on a chain. According to her obit, in 2009 Irwin was instrumental in having city council review animal ordinances, resulting in a ban on chaining dogs in the City of Asheville.

From the ChainFree Asheville website:

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 almost 120 dogs from the 24/7 chain, plus provided spay/neuter services, dog houses and basic veterinarian services to them. We are the only organization in Western North Carolina which acts as canine social workers, going into the homes of these dogs, talking with the family, building fences with the guardians and providing educational materials to help them manage. It has been the most rewarding work of my life! (and I have been in some pretty amazing jobs)

From Irwin’s obituary in the Citizen-Times:

In 2000 she married Patrick Irwin in Washington. They moved to Asheville in 2002 to purchase the North Lodge Bed and Breakfast. In 2008 they sold the B&B and this allowed Peggy to take up her passion of helping to get dogs off of chains. She founded ChainFree Asheville that same year and they began to build fences for chained dogs and educating the public about the safety and humane issues of chaining dogs. In 2009 she was instrumental in having the City Council review their animal ordinances that resulted in the banning of dog chaining in the City of Asheville. Under Peggy’s leadership, ChainFree Asheville built fences for over 100 dogs for eligible owners to help in the transition and implementation of the new ordinance. C.F.A.’s current mission is to help chained dogs in Buncombe County.

Peggy is survived by her husband, Patrick Irwin; her stepson, Ryan Irwin, his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Norah, of West Hills, Calif.; her cousin, John Roger Nelligan, his wife, Joanne, their children, Joseph, Mary-Anne and Jenette of Deal, Md.; and her second cousin, Seamus McGuire and his wife Marti from Birmingham, England. Also, Peggy will be missed by Reese and Allie for treats and love.

Peggy Irwin obituary

ChainFree Asheville website

ChainFree Asheville on Facebook

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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