November 21, 2014

Here We Go

Labels- check.
Tape- check.
Gloves- check.
Name Tags- check.
Camera- check.
Towels- check.
More towels- check.
Full tank of gas- check.
Caring and efficient transporters- check.
Clinic staff and volunteers on standby- check.
A caring community ready to toss in a healthy dose of TLC- check.

We're doing a puppy mill rescue tomorrow, and expecting around 50 dogs. They only know how to eat if their food is thrown on the floor- right now bowls are foreign to them. They were matted to point of not being able to open their mouths, and we suspect they are in a little bit of shock right now. We're warming up the dental machine, the bath water, the clippers, the blankets, and our hearts to welcome them here tomorrow night. Hang tight, little ones, things are going to get better.

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.
— J.K. Rowling

November 18, 2014

Once and Always

Our handsome boy, Big Head Todd, paying tribute to the few and proud.

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world.
The Marines don't have that problem.

― Ronald Reagan

November 12, 2014

The Visitor

We're holding on to several small dogs for a family in need. It was one of those situations where there was little time for talk or consideration, just an immediate decision that yes, we would help these dogs for the sake of safety. They have been great little guests, but like many new guys you can see the wheels turning, trying to figure out why they are here, who we are, and just how they will fit in.

Today they got a break from the wondering, as a man carrying an oxygen tank, a cane, and a smile arrived at our door. He came just to see them, to give them a familiar face, some one on one, and a reassurance to hang in there, and trust that every little thing is going to be alright. And for the time he spent with them, it was beyond alright, it was spins and grins and hey! We know you! And you're here just to see us! A kind and familiar face goes an awfully long way in this big old world, especially when yours has been turned upside-down.



We're expecting our guests to go home soon, and are ever so grateful that they got to let it all hang loose with their friend today. His visit took a tremendous amount of effort, but for these dogs it meant everything, and we think it did for him too.

If a friend is in trouble, don’t annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do.
Think up something appropriate and do it.
~Edgar Watson Howe

October 31, 2014

At The End Of The Day

It's been a huge day of community involvement- Wag O'Ween!- all wrapped around dogs in costumes escorted to local businesses by our faithful volunteers. These generous folks donated and gathered over 2000 pounds of food and litter, plus treats, toys, copy paper, bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, and checks for our programs at Angels of Assisi. Best of all, we got to meet a lot of nice folks, and you all showed us, once again, how much our community cares about animals.

It's hard to express the extent of our gratefulness, but this email from one of our clients may help you understand. He is one of the recipients of your time and generosity, and at the end of the day, this right here is what it's all about.

Thank you, again, for a wonderful event today, and for making a difference. 

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
Maya Angelou

October 27, 2014

3 Cheers For Animal Control!

Roanoke City Animal Control Officer Billanti recently contacted us about a dog needing help- she had some serious skin issues that needed attention, along with a general health exam. There was one hang up, the owner was unable to transport her. There was also a solution, and for that we are very grateful- Officer Billanti picked up the dog, a sweet girl named Lola, and brought her in for treatment. A few hours later, she came back for Lola, and we sent her home with some much needed medications and a brand new dog bed.

Thanks to all of our animal control officers who go above and beyond for the pets in our community. We know it's a tough job, but we also know you are making a big difference- not only for the pets, but for their people too.

Compassion is a verb.  
Thích Nhất Hạnh

October 26, 2014

Meeting People Where They Are

We're officially up and running with our Pets for Life program! Our goal is to build a humane community by bringing animal services, resources, and information to under-served areas. By addressing the critical need for accessible, affordable pet care, this program will help our community animals by empowering the people who care for them.

How? How does it all work? By picking a neighborhood, and knocking on doors. We were lucky with the beautiful weather yesterday, and got to meet quite a few folks who were sitting outside. The first guy we encountered was Bear, and he's going to have his skin issues addressed on Tuesday when he comes in for a neuter appointment.

As we worked our way through the neighborhood, most folks were happy to talk to us, and a few even invited us in, like this gentleman. He is deaf, but we communicated pretty well via notes on scrap paper. He's done a great job taking care of his 14 year old dog, and we're going to pick her up on Tuesday for a check up, along with a relatively new housemate- a cat who showed up on the doorstep- who will also come to Angels of Assisi for neuter, shots, and microchip.

Along with some wonderful progress of getting animals signed up for clinic visits came sights of dogs on chains, as many as 3 in a yard, and stray cats. Knowing this gives us something to work towards, and it will come together as we get to know folks, and they get to know us. We're not there to take animals away from people, we are there to give them resources and information to make things better- for both pets and humans.

Animal rescue is so much more than swooping in and taking them all away from their owners. It's also keeping pets in their existing homes, and helping those homes along the way. Are these all perfect situations with white picket fences and jeweled collars? No, but you can't let perfect take the place of good, and sometimes, most times, good is more than enough.

October 2, 2014


This little girl was brought to our clinic today, in hopes that what ailed her would be an easy fix. An exam revealed emaciation, infections, unhealed wounds, hair loss, and the need for extensive treatment. She was signed over to our care, and became another benefitting from the Biscuit Fund.

I brought her back to my office, to the red therapy chair, and she never moved. In fact, she stayed glued to one spot, staring at the door. I believe she was waiting for those that left her with us to come back, right through it, at any moment.

The realization that they were not seemed to slowly sink in, and as it did, I sent her photo to my friend, Chelsea.

You see, my friend Chelsea has also had someone recently leave her, unexpectedly and filled with pain. And my friend Chelsea knows that while nobody can fill that void, this little dog needs her to need her, and take care of her, and fill the spaces- those between her protruding back bones and those in her heart. And while Chelsea works on her, little Biscuit dog will do her own sort of healing, the kind that only neglected rescued animals can reciprocate with. We're looking forward to seeing the results, for both of them, in the days to come.

October 1, 2014

Nelson & Co

I had the pleasure of helping check in for surgery this morning, and it was a wonderful experience to see how much you all care about your animals. Each one was gently brought in, by leash, carrier, or in your arms, and each was bid a sad, albeit temporary, farewell. The goodbyes were peppered with "you'll be fine" "I know a part of you will be missing when I come back, but it'll be OK" and a few tears here and there. Nelson, pictured below, got to hang with dad as he filled out his paperwork.

Thank you to all, today and everyday, for bringing your beloved pets to Angels of Assisi for shots, check ups, spay/neuter, surgery, and dental work. Thank you for waiting patiently for your turn, and for understanding the busy flow of our building. We appreciate your support very much, and we love the fact that you love your pets like you do.


September 26, 2014


Meet Jackson. He came in sort of hot mess, and we were able to groom him and make sure he was updated on vaccinations. After a stay with us, he went back to his owner, equipped with some information on keeping him busy, a new Kong toy, and an appointment for neuter and microchip.

Reunions such as the one between Jackson and his owner, we believe, are an integral part of animal rescue. Sometimes people need a little help in keeping their animals, and we can play a tremendous and important role in making that happen. There are times when us humans get a little lost along the way, times that we live, literally, day to day, because that's the only way to keep from falling into complete despair, and there are times when our animals are the only reason we get up and try it again, because they love and need us. And because we love and need them.

Welcome home, Jackson. We enjoyed meeting your owner very much; we wish you both a lifetime of health and happiness, and will always be here for you. 

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace.    

Albert Schweitzer

August 7, 2014

These Are The Days

Imagine a wonderful little grandma, with an endearing English accent, presented with a precious new kitten by her family. It happened here last Saturday.

This adoption is one of the many memories we have of our summer ASPCA 100K Challenge, and we cherish each and every person- from both sides of the pond- who has helped us make them.


August 2, 2014


Some of our adoption center animals got to visit Roanoke Fire and EMS Station 1 today. and got a special message from those on duty. Guess what? We heart you right back- thank you for being our local heroes, every single day. 

July 31, 2014

Kids Doing Good

Our friend Nicholas requested donations to Angels of Assisi for his ninth birthday, and he really loaded us up! He got to take a tour of the clinic and adoption center to see all the good his donations would be going towards, including some kitties fresh out of surgery for some pretty serious medical issues.

I'm frequently asked "Are you surprised?" when referring to the goodness of volunteers, fosters, and those donating. My answer is no, I'm not surprised. I'm grateful and humbled, and we do our very best to put people's time, talents, and gifts to the best use possible. We are eternally thankful for your support.

How lucky we are that ours is a community of people who love animals, and they will help them, over and over. Just like Nicholas did in honor of his ninth birthday.

July 21, 2014

Play Ball

We had a wonderful time at the Salem Red Sox game yesterday- dogs and baseball, what could be better? Thrown in some adoptions, that's what! Our senior girls Chi Chi and China were 2 who found new homes, and a good time was had by all. Many thanks to Salem Red Socks and our volunteers who made sure the afternoon was perfect!

Baseball, to me, is still the national pastime because it is a summer game. I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood. I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people.
~Steve Busby, in Washington Post, 8 July 1974