October 30, 2009


We first told the story of Anna a few weeks ago - a 12 year old German Shepard mix in need of a new home. Her wonderful owners Joan and George are moving to a continuing care facility, and cannot take their beloved pet with them.

After searching far and wide for a new home all summer, Anna's chances did not look good. Because of a history of being attacked by other dogs (before she was adopted by Joan and George), Anna has to be the only dog in the house. Most people who would open their home to an elderly dog already have dogs of their own.

But, as Joan says, hope springs eternal.

As the summer turned into fall, Anna still had no solid prospects for a new home. Joan and George were faced with the serious possibility of putting Anna to sleep on November 2nd, but in mid October Joan went ahead and got all Anna's shots updated for the year. Because hope springs eternal.

Volunteers and kind people put the word out far and wide, from Roanoke to Richmond to Washington DC, but still no home for Anna. As a back up plan, we arranged for room at Angels of Assisi, but we knew it would be very hard for her to stay in the adoption center surrounded by other dogs. And we continued to look for a new home and hope for the best for Anna.

Last weekend some of our wonderful volunteers, Wendy and her friend Mike, came up with a plan. If Anna could get along with Mike's cats- and that was a big if because Mike has one cat with only 3 legs- he would foster her in his new house. We arranged for Anna to come to Angels of Assisi yesterday so she could "get into the system" and meet Dr. Spangler, then she was to go home with Mike later in the afternoon.

Our wonderful dog trainer, Melanie Schlaginhaufen, volunteered to go home with Mike to help him introduce Anna to the cats. And hope springs eternal....

We are pleased to say that the meeting went very well- Anna gave the cats a good sniff and went on her way. She was a little nervous her first night away from home, but she is surrounded by her familiar blanket, bowls and toys, and Mike is letting Anna adjust in her own time. So far, so good.

We appreciate the efforts of Nona and the Happy Wag, the many emails and calls placed by volunteers, and most of all we appreciate the big hearts that reside in Mike and Wendy. Thank you!

October 29, 2009

From a Rough Start to a Good Life

Shown here in the Roanoker magazine this month, you would never know Frankie had a very rough start in life. Her mom, Olivia, was found starving a few days before Valentine's Day in 2008. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, she was taken to a Veterinarian's office for a check up, and promptly delivered 10 babies!

Olivia and her brood went to a wonderful foster home, and a few days later we received another puppy family SOS. A litter of 10 newborn puppies lost their mom, and they needed help.

Fortunately, Olivia's foster mom, Chris, has a HUGE heart, and she volunteered to bring the puppies home and see if Olivia would help nurse them. Sure enough, this sweet dog took the new babies in without hesitation, and increased her brood to 20!

Olivia and her foster mom worked hard to keep all the babies healthy, and while Olivia nursed one set, Chris was busy preparing extra supplements for mom and babies. Olivia and Chris had a few sleepless nights taking care of the needs of 20 babies, but they both report it was well worth the effort!

Olivia and her babies all ended up big and healthy and were adopted into loving homes. As you can see in the photos, Frankie and Olivia look happy and well loved. We appreciate all the families that choose to adopt a pet from Angels of Assisi and the many rescue groups, pounds and shelters in our area.

October 28, 2009

Mr. Personality

Clyde was part of the Giles County cat rescue last summer - one of 80 cats all living in the same house. While some of those cats became shy and timid, Clyde must have fought very hard to be seen and heard, because he is all about getting AS MUCH ATTENTION AS POSSIBLE. PEOPLE, LOOK AT ME! We fondly refer to him as our little punk teenager as he bats toys around and pounces on the feet of those who enter his colony room.

Are you looking for someone to rock your world? If so, Clyde will be ready to roll any day between 2-6 pm at 415 Campbell Avenue.

Photo by Vickie Holt!


Noah is one of the farm favorites at Harmony. His mom was rescued from the stockyard, and she arrived very thin and in poor health- we had no idea she was pregnant. One rainy morning all the cows came down to the barn for breakfast, and wobbling amongst them was a little white calf, trying hard to stay the group and not be left behind.

His mom was unable to nurse him, so off we went to Southern States for bottle feeding supplies. What we anticipated to be a daunting task, actually turned out to be very easy. Noah figured out the bottle easily, and calves only need to be a fed a few times a day.

Because he spent so much time with humans, Noah has grown to be a very gentle and sweet cow- the mellow one of the group. He will take apples and treats from your hand, and loves to be scratched behind the ears.

If you would like to visit Noah and his friends at Harmony, please contact us at

Noah and friend Dotty at the farm

October 27, 2009

Wild Thing

"Prowling his own quiet backyard or asleep by the fire, he is still only a whisker away from the wilds."

Jean Burden

Cheap Toys for Cats

In his highly entertaining and informative book, How to Get Your Cat to Do What You Want, Warren Eckstein states that you should have no less than two dozen toys for your cat. Cats, being the intelligent creatures they are, need stimulation. Of course, all 24 toys should not be available to Kitty at all times, but they should be rotated with some being retired for awhile. When they are taken out again, they will seem new and exciting.

It is not necessary to spend a fortune at the pet store to please your cat's playful streak. Some of the most popular toys are freebies or are home-made. Try out some of the following on your favorite feline:

  • Lightweight items for the "catch and kill" game, such as balled-up tissue or waxed paper.

  • Plastic rings that hold down the lids of plastic milk jugs--great for sliding along the kitchen floor.

  • A couple of ping pong balls in the bathtub--purrfect for feline raquetball.

  • The centers of toilet paper, tape, and calculator rolls, empty plastic film containers, nuts in their shells--all useful for batting practice.

  • Cotton socks of varying sizes stuffed with cotton balls and catnip and tied at the end.
Paper bags and boxes also create hours of fun for you kitty!

Info taken from Cats International

Photos by Vickie Holt

How to Photograph a Puppy

1. Remove film from box and load camera

2. Remove film box from puppy's mouth and throw in trash

3. Remove puppy from trash and brush coffee grounds from muzzle

4. Choose a suitable background for photo

5. Mount camera on tripod and focus

6. Find puppy and take dirty sock from mouth

7. Place puppy in pre-focused spot and return to camera

8. Forget about spot and crawl after puppy on knees

9. Focus with one hand and fend off puppy with other hand

10. Get tissue and clean nose print from lens

11. Take flash cube from puppy's mouth and throw in trash

12. Put cat outside and put peroxide on the scratch on puppy's nose

13. Put magazines back on coffee table

14. Try to get puppy's attention by squeaking toy over your head

15. Replace your glasses and check camera for damage

16. Jump up in time to grab puppy by scruff of neck and say,

17. "No, outside!!"

18. Fix a drink

19. Sit back in Lazy Boy with drink and resolve to teach puppy "sit" and stay" the first thing in the morning

Dedicated to Vickie Holt, who has a lot of patience photographing the animals at Angels of Assisi and makes it look much easier than it is! 

Please note that Vickie did NOT take these terrible photos!

October 25, 2009


Last winter, we got a call for help from a large farm rescue in King George County, Virginia. Below is a photo of the farm where the animals came from, and an update as told by Lorelei Pulliam:

"In early January, we sent out an e-mail about a large group of animals in great distress as we attempted to find them safety, hope, and homes in the wake of a cruelty seizure in King George County, Va. Thanks to the help of so many of you, all of our hopes and dreams for them were accomplished. All 50 of the farm animals and their offspring were saved and all found wonderful new homes.

Yesterday, Ron and I once again left before daylight and returned after dark on their behalf but this time to serve as their voice as one of three witnesses in the sentencing phase of their former owners trial. A tenacious Commonwealths Attorney, Matt Britton, tried the case himself and saw that justice was served. I overheard him talking to someone prior to the trial and telling them that this was a very important case which not something one often hears in rural communities when dealing with crimes against animals and especially farm animals.

Iris Hedrick received a multiple year sentence of jail time with 9 months to be served, approximately twelve thousand dollars in fines and full restitution to those who paid for the care of the animals after their seizure. She will have three years after her incarceration is over to make restitution. She will not be allowed to own or even care for any animal for the next 15 years.

It was good to be on the stand and speak for the animals. I tried hard to be a competent and confident witness on their behalf. But those who won the case were the animals themselves - especially those who are now forever silent. Animal Control officer extrodinaire, Marcella Mihalec, brought in the professionals from the sheriff to photograph the scene before the dead animals were removed.

Ron did not want to look at the photos. The grand jury indicted without finishing looking at all of them. They were painful beyond belief. But the judge looked and I looked. I looked for those animal friends that I have come to love so much - to fully know what they had gone through.

It was our dear Mallory that had to wear the vest because she was so thin she could not warm herself and had such bad hoof rot. No wonder she was so needy and sad. I needed to see which goats had stayed faithfully beside their frozen friend and now I know it was Swiss Miss and Miracle. Someone who knows and loved them all needed to bear witness and to know all that had happened. It cannot be explained but it had to be done. Now the whole story is known and it is over. It is finally over. Justice has been served and the person responsible for all of the suffering was taken away in handcuffs and we were there to speak and bear witness for our dear dear friends who suffered so terribly.

If you have one of these precious beings that survived, please give them some extra feed and a lot of love tonight. It is well deserved. For all of those who helped in words and deeds, thank you - thank you - thank you. It was hard but it has all been worth it. Please feel feel to crosspost to anyone I may have missed. Kidos to the Commonwealth's attorney, AC officer Marcella Mihalec and the Judge. All did their job and did it well. Justice was served."

Three pigs from this rescue came to Harmony Farm Sanctuary- Nosey, Bethany, and Malcolm. While at the University of Tennessee for spay/neuter surgery, it was discovered that Nosey was very pregnant, and she arrived at Harmony a few days before she had her babies. She had seven on March 13, and they were so much fun to watch growing up. We named them Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy and Dopey. Today they are all fat and healthy, and have no idea about the terrible place they were almost born into.

Many thanks to Lorelei and Ron for all their efforts- a true victory for the animals!

"But what would we most yearn for if we were locked away in dark little pens and stalls and ignored or shouted at and treated like garbage? I for one would yearn most for the sun and the cool water and the breeze and fellowship of my kind. I would yearn to be seen, feeling that if others only saw me they would try to help." Mathew Sculley - Dominion


"You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, `My God, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!'"

Dave Barry

October 24, 2009

A Special Thank You

A special thank you to Birkenstock Shoe Store by Valley View mall for hosting another adoption day. Birkenstock is also the inspiration for the MasCat program, and fosters 2 wonderful cats in the store so they can get more exposure and a better chance for finding a new home.

Volunteers Diane and Grant at the Birkenstock Adoption Event.

Kittens worn out from a day of fun!

Cute cocker spaniel hopes for a new home!

Once again, we extend our sincerest appreciation for the staff at Valley View Birkenstock for their caring and compassion for the pets in our community.

October 23, 2009

Isn't He Great?

Emmett can be described in many ways- trusting, appreciative, positive, gentle, goofy, sweet, and a little bit surprised that he has things so good.

But the 3 words that are used in conjunction with his name are: "isn't he great?" That is how he always introduced to people- "This is Emmett... isn't he great?"

And as you look down at him and see the trusting, appreciative, positive, gentle, goofy, and surprised soul inside of him, you think 'wow... he most certainly is."

Some Good Advice

According to Lissa Nicholson of the blog Forever Foster, who is a well-known and respected cat rescuer, taking in a pet that has been abused will take some work. “It is very important to make sure the person truly understands what they are getting into, are prepared for problems that may come up, and to make sure they know they can ask for help or advice if they need it,” she said.

People should have a plan in place before picking up their rescue pet, whether it’s a cat or a dog (or even a bird), and know that there is no “typical” behavior for an abused pet, although you may notice that they want to be alone, that they cower when you approach, or have other symptoms.

Nicholson, who fosters rescue cats, says that those she’s fostered have all reacted quite differently.

“I’ve had three who were badly abused and two of them were the most easy-going of all my fosters,” she said. This is also my experience. When we rescued Gibson, our white Golden Retriever from the breeder who had severely neglected him, he was just happy to be in a safe place and was so relaxed, yet still withdrawn.

“To me, it underscores the importance for a potential adopter to really spend time with the individual kitty, and have proper discussions with foster parents about what they can reasonably expect from an individual animal,” she said.

A woman who I will refer to as Marie (she has requested anonymity because her rescue efforts are so far-reaching and potential issues could be caused if her name is drawn up anywhere) and her husband, who lost their dog to cancer last year and are known for fostering Golden Retrievers in the southern California area, said something similar about dogs. Marie is considered an expert in the field of rescuing and rehabilitating dogs, and is considered a veteran expert.

The first few nights they will be restless. Stress panting (in dogs) is common the first few days. The first time in a house they will generally check out every nook and cranny,” Marie said. “They may not sleep through the night but move around a lot. Some will cry or bark. They may not eat, or eat very little. Some may have an accident in the house or not go for a very long time. In extreme cases of abuse and/or fear they will freeze and drool if approached or belly crawl and stay in small places like under a bed.”

So what can you do as far as safety measures when you are taking in a rescue pet or an abused animal?

1. Do your own research and reading before you bring any pet home so you have a plan before you pick up your pet.

2. If you already have a pet at home, test the new pet with others before taking him home. You need to know if the rescue will get along with other animals. Some see animals already in the home as guides, some see them as a threat or get jealous. Make sure you know this before bringing the pet home.

3. Give the pet time to adjust to you. As Marie said, don’t expect the pet to be “huggy” and playing with you the first day home.

4. Make sure your tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date, and know that a bite wound will probably require a visit to the Dr.’s office and it may become infected, Nicholson recommends.

5. Take the time to learn the pet’s behavior. Marie said that many abused pets or even regular rescues, if not fostered, have never been in a home before or had positive human contact. They need time to learn that it’s a good thing.

6. Provide a “safe place” for the pet to go to alone, and leave him be when he’s there.

7. Don’t force yourself on the pet. Give them the space and peace and quiet that they need to adjust on their own time.

8. Let the pet approach you on his own terms: don’t force attention and affection.

9. Don’t rush the pet into new situations. Let them get used to their new home and then slowly introduce them to new surroundings.

10. Marie said that once trust is established, if you have a dog, try to take a positive reinforcement training class to further bond with him.

11. If you have a rescue cat, Nicholson recommends setting up a safe room with their food, some good hiding spots and litter box, then slowly let the cat out to roam around more of the house to get used to new sights and smells.

Info taken from

October 22, 2009

October 21, 2009

All the Single Ladies

Jake is a wonderful, sweet, loving hound dog with the softest ears you've ever felt. One of them is a bit ragged - a physical symbol of a rough past life. We first wrote about Jake here, and since the last posting we've learned something new about him.

Jake is a Ladies' Man.

He loves the ladies- he loves to walk with them, jog with them, hike with them and curl up by the fire at night with them. He likes to have dinner with them, and who knows, maybe he'd like a glass of Chardonnay with them too.

The problem is that Jake is afraid of men, and we're pretty sure it was because his former owner was very abusive. We learned this when Jake went to foster care. He was wonderful with his foster mom; he listened to her and was learning about being good in the house and minding his manners. However, when she went to work and he was alone with his foster dad, he became very scared and would cower in his crate, even though his foster dad tried very hard to ease his fears.

So, if you're a single gal looking for someone who will be there for you til the end, Jake is your man. He is taking appointments from 2-6 everyday at 415 Campbell Avenue.

Photo by Vickie Holt

Damage Control

Following Nona's discussion of declawed cats a few weeks ago, it is apparent that many of us are against declawing a cat and regret any decisions we have made in the past about this practice.

However, for some people who rent their homes, or have concerns about the damage a cat can do, there are options of adopting a cat that is already declawed. Here is a wonderful example in a big boy named Oreo at Angels of Assisi. He is up to date on all his shots and ready to go home.

Hi, I'm Oreo, and I'm a big sweet boy looking for a great new home. I'm declawed, so I'm already home-friendly. I LOVE being petted, and I'm very affectionate. Please come see me any day between 2:00 and 6:00 pm.

Photo by Vickie Holt

Peace at Harmony

Harmony Farm Sanctuary is a safe haven where animals can live out their natural lives with shelter, veterinary care, plenty of room to roam, and a lot of love. Most of the animals are from rescues or from homes that could no longer care for them.

Below are some photos of the farm- enjoy!

I believe in animal rights, and high among them is the right to the gentle stroke of a human hand.
~Robert Brault

October 20, 2009


Thunder was rescued from a small Bedford farm a few years ago. He came to Harmony Farm Sanctuary along with another horse, a pony, a donkey, a few goats, a few ducks, and a pig. The 40 cats and 35 dogs that shared the small property all went to Angels of Assisi.

While we were at the farm organizing the animals for transport, I walked into a dark and dirty barn looking for any cats we may have missed. Hearing a soft exhale, I looked up in the darkness and into a black eye looking back at me from his stall- in the midst of all the filth and chaos was one of the most beautiful horses we had ever seen.

His name was Thunder, and he was a mass of muscle and bundle of nerves. He was very fearful of humans, and even putting on a halter was very stressful. Getting him loaded onto the trailer took several experts and a lot of patience.

Fortunately, Thunder was adopted by a good friend of Angels of Assisi and an expert on horses. It has taken several years, but Thunder is to the point where the Ferrier can trim his feet most of the time without sedation, and he will let you pet him as long as you do not startle him in any way. We are very grateful to his adoptive family for spending years of time, patience and care to help this wonderful horse feel loved and wanted again.

Taming a Wild Heart

Claudia was brought to the Feral Cal Clinic as a kitten to be spayed as part of the Trap, Neuter, Return Program (Feral Cat Clinic) done once a month at Angels of Assisi. She did not do well with the surgery, and we actually lost her for a short time. The Vets and volunteers were able to bring her back to life, and she stayed at Angels of Assisi for recovery.

During her stay, Claudia became more and more friendly under the TLC given to her from kind volunteers and staff. She was put up for adoption and entered the MasCat Program that places friendly cats in local businesses so they can receive more exposure and increase their chances for adoption.

Notice that Claudia is missing the tip of her left ear- this is an international symbol of a feral cat that has been spayed or neutered. Feral cats live in large groups, and when the ones that have been through the Feral Cat Clinic are ear tipped, it allows their caretakers to know which cats in the colony have been fixed.

Claudia is at the Valley View Birkenstock Store and loves to meet new customers everyday. If you're looking for a friendly cat with an ear tip and eight lives left, Claudia is your girl!

Photo by Vickie Holt

October 19, 2009

Thank you from Anna and her owner Joan

We have had a lot of help getting the story out about Anna- see post below. Joan is very, very grateful, and we have promised her will keep trying until we find her a home. Please continue to spread the word!

Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit us well.
-- Bonnie Wilcox

October 18, 2009

A New Home for an Old Dog

Joan and her husband will soon have to move to a continuing care facility, and Anna cannot go with them. The family is running out of options and is looking for any advice, guidance and suggestions to help Anna.

Joan wrote:

"Surely other pet parents have faced the same dilemma about finding a home for their beloved dog when the continuing care facility can't take her. Anna is nearly 12, arthritic and going deaf, but still loves playing ball, is great watch dog and would be perfect for someone with no other pets.

She was a rescue, saved from an abusive owner who chained her in the yard, where she was attacked by other dogs, so our vet opines. As a consequence, she has to go to a home without other pets".

Anna's family is moving November 2nd, and they have been trying to find a home for her since June. She just went to the Vet and got her shots, and a supply of heartworm meds to bring with her.

Angels of Assisi will sponsor her yearly shots if someone can help this wonderful girl and her dedicated owners.

Please contact us at if you can help-

Info taken from the Happy Wag- Nona Nelson

Here is some additional info on Anna:

Anna's Story

"Let's look at that German Shepherd", my husband said, after we'd checked out the dogs at the Salem Animal Clinic. I agreed, but none too enthusiastically, since I'd always been a tad afraid of shepherds - police dogs, you know. Then came some strange sounds, a scraping and clicking, like toenails against the floor.

Peering around the corner, I saw the sad-eyed shepherd refusing to budge, firmly planting all four feet so clinic helpers had to literally drag her into the waiting room. This was my introduction to Anna, a beautiful and loving companion who has brightened our lives for the past nine years. I quickly learned it was fear, fear of humans, not unfriendliness, that made her resist meeting us.

When we drove her to our home, she trembled every step of the way, and once there, would not come near us. Anna had been abused, chained in the back yard night and day, no shelter, no protection from thunderstorms or merciless heat, prey to neighborhood dogs who probably attacked her, generating a lifelong fear and hatred of other dogs. She conquered her fear of humans fairly quickly but never got over her fear of other dogs. What else can I tell you about this lovely creature?

Treated with care and compassion, she blossomed into a loving companion, equally at home outdoors and inside, smart, loyal and obedient, an excellent watch dog. She loves to play ball, take short walks; before arthritis set in, she adored riding in the car but as she aged and developed arthritis, that became difficult. She's amazingly disciplined; once when I was tenderizing a steak on the kitchen counter while she lay at my feet, I left the room and came back to find her still quietly lying there, steak untouched.

Now my husband's ill health requires us to move into a continuing care facility which won't take large dogs, period, and I'm trying to find her a home for her declining days. The animal shelter thought she was two years old when we got her in 1990, but my vet who spayed her thought she was probably three, so she's approaching 12 years old.

Besides arthritis, for which I give her glucosamine/chondrition, she has some hearing loss, but is otherwise healthy, to the best of my knowledge, and up on all her shots. But obviously, she doesn't have much more time, so it's doubly important to find her a loving home. My neighbors know her and would take her in a heartbeat, but they all have other animals. Can anyone out there save Anna?

More info, Kids are fine. Cats, I'm not sure but don't think there's a problem. I chatted with a neighbor who had a cat in her arms while I was standing there with Anna (on her leash) and Anna didn't pay much attention to the cat.

However, she doesn't get along with other dogs. She was tied up by her original, abusive, owner and was attacked by other dogs while defenseless, so she's afraid of other dogs and can't get along with them.

Update on Halo

Halo is still having a lot of soreness in her front legs, but she is getting used to the farm and is quickly becoming everyone's best friend. Her bright eyes and sweet personality welcome us when we enter the barn, and she is always the first to greet us.

For now, she is staying in a big stall with soft footing, but we are able to take her out for field trips and sight-seeing, as long as she stays off the grass! We're not sure who enjoys her time out of the stall more, Halo or Macey...

The horse through all its trials has preserved the sweetness of paradise in its blood. ~Johannes Jensen

A Fun Day at Orvis

We spent a chilly afternoon at the Orvis adoption event yesterday, and despite the weather, we made a lot of new friends and possible adoptions.

A special thank you to the Orvis Store in downtown Roanoke for inviting us. They were very kind and helpful, and want the best for homeless pets in our community.

Pictured above are Harley and Hannah- beautiful siblings who were rescued from a rural pound. Photos do not do them justice- they are awesome together, and will frequently be seen standing, leaning, or resting on each other.

They are in foster care now- please email us for more info:

Thank You US Kids Care!

A special thank you to US Kids Care for coming in on Saturday morning and helping us clean the cat rooms. The girls scooped litter, changed food and water bowls, swept and mopped, and even did windows!

The cats enjoyed the company and TLC, and were on their best behavior!

October 16, 2009


Michael was rescued about 2 weeks ago after his elderly owner died. He has a wonderful personality and wise, penetrating eyes. He'll be up for adoption on November 1st.

Angels of Assisi, like many shelters throughout the country, does not adopt out black cats for the last few weeks in October. Here is some info from the Humane Society on why:

The HSUS also cautions animal shelters not to adopt out black cats during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, during Halloween black cats are the targets of pranks, mischief, or worse—that can put cats at a high risk of being harmed. People with black cats should be extra careful about keeping their cats safe during this time.

Feel free to visit Michael and the many other cats and kittens for adoption any day between 2-6 pm!

A Milestone for Alley Cat Angels Feral Cat Coalition

By Rick & Sarah McDonald, Best Friends Network Volunteers

Story originally posted on the Virginia Site of the Best Friends Network

Alley Cat Angels Feral Cat Clinic "Fixes" its 2000th Cat!!

In June of 2008 we wrote a story about our involvement with the monthly Spay/Neuter Clinic offered by the Alley Cat Angels Feral Cat Coalition at Angels of Assisi in Roanoke. The clinic was started in March of 2007 by Dr. Kelly Farrell, and on August 16, 2009, under the direction of Dr. Meghan Byrnes, the clinic “fixed” their 2000th cat!!

Here is a recap of the info we put into the original article explaining the protocol used at the clinic:

Feral cats are trapped in several southern Virginia counties by various groups and brought to the clinic early on Sunday morning. After arriving, the cats pass through several treatment stations before being returned to their cages for their return trip home. The first stop after Check-In is Anesthesia, where the cats are weighed, tagged, and anesthetized.

They then proceed to Ear-Tipping where they are given a thorough exterior examination, and a small piece of the left ear is removed to indicate to future trappers that this particular cat has already been “fixed”.

They then proceed to either Spay or Neuter Prep, based on whether they are female or male. Following the prep station, the actual sterilization surgery is performed, either by a team of volunteer veterinarians in the case of the females, or a team of veterinary technicians in the case of the males.

Following their surgery, they move to the Medication station where their ears are cleaned, their eyes are medicated as required, and they are given medication for fleas, ticks, worms, etc. They are then moved to Recovery where they are kept warm and observed closely until they begin to recover from the anesthesia.

When they start to come around, they are returned to their cages (by matching a toe tag to a cage tag), and are moved to the Check-Out station for further recovery.

For more information about the monthly clinics go to the Feral Cat Coalition Info Page at the Angels of Assisi site. You can also request information via e-mail at

To find out more about feral cats- problems and solutions- please visit the Alley Cat Allies website.

October 14, 2009

Rainy Wednesday Morning

The pigs at Harmony really know how to take advantage of a cold and rainy morning:

• Breakfast- check

• Annoy Jason the farm manager by dragging a water hose through the barn in their teeth- check

• Squeal really loud while people are on the phone with an important call- check

• Snuggle in a big pig pile for a well needed nap- check!

Despite the pig family being ornery this morning, Jason still put on their favorite classical music station, and all ended well.

We took these photos while the Farrier was trimming the hooves on the new pony, Halo. Her feet were a little worse then we thought they would be, and she will never be able to go in a pasture with free access to grass again. It's a good thing she likes hay...

She is walking better, and we will continue to concentrate on decreasing the soreness in her legs.

October 13, 2009


I used to look at my dog and think, 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what you were thinking.'

And he'd look at me like he was saying, 'If you were a little smarter, I wouldn't have to.'"

-- Fred Jungclaus


Visit Turner's adoption page here.

Photo by Vickie Holt