January 28, 2010


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Foster Homes Needed

There is a senior Golden Retriever at the Regional Center for Animal Control & Protection that we are trying to find a foster/permanent home for. No elderly dog deserves to die at a pound. If you would like to meet him, the RCACP is located right next to the Roanoke Valley SPCA on Baldwin Avenue. We only have a few days left.

We also need a foster home for Duke, shown below. He will need 6-8 weeks of limited activity and pain meds while his broken leg heals.

If you can help with either dog, please contact us. Thank you!!


January 27, 2010

Craig County’s ‘Angel’ of Assisi

Angels in Action- click here for the story of Kathy Sowers of Craig County. Kathy is a wonderful person, and we appreciate her dedication to the pets and people in her community. Thank you!!


January 25, 2010

An Undeniable Spirit

Nautica was rescued from the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection a few days ago. (You can read about that here). When we talked to the staff about transferring her to Angels of Assisi, they said she was on the list to be euthanized that day. However, because of her gentle and sweet nature, they had been putting it off, and for that we are grateful.

The photos below show the problem with her leg, and we are working to find a Vet who can recommend the best treatment. Meanwhile, her bad leg does not slow her down one bit. She is able to take stairs in a single bound, and walks well on a leash. Nautica is a happy and sweet girl, and enjoys every bit of attention she receives. When she is in her crate and thinks someone is coming to visit, she wiggles all over- almost like she wants to bust out and jump all over you, but she knows better and is trying with all her might to restrain herself.

We appreciate the support of our donors and volunteers, and will keep you posted on her progress. Because of you, we are able to take difficult cases like Nautica, and look for another happy ending. She certainly deserves one!

"It was like just meeting you made his day. He quivered with excitement. Rolled over in submission. Nuzzled up so's the warmth of his body came soothing to your heart through the skin of your ankle. So you picked him up. That's the way with love. It's contagious".
 -- Bill Tarrant (from 'Hey Pup, Fetch It Up')

January 23, 2010

More Shiloh

Shiloh will be happy when we all go back to work on Monday and stop tormenting her, and she probably wishes we would get a real hobby.

I was reviewing some tricks with her, and she ended up in the chair with the scarf my mother-in-law gave me a few holidays ago. While working on the "sit" and "stay" commands, our other dog, Jessie, wandered by. Shiloh LOVES Jessie, and follows her, jumps on her, smacks her with her front paws, noses her when she is sleeping, and tries to herd her in whatever direction Shiloh thinks they should be going.

Jessie responds the same way to each and every display of affection- by turning her head in the opposite direction of Shiloh. I think Jessie believes that if she refuses to acknowledge her presence, Shiloh may disappear one day and we can all go back to a quiet household with intact roles of toilet paper.

Sorry, Jess, she is here to stay.

January 21, 2010


Heart Check

This little guy has a heart murmer and needs to go to Virginia Tech for an evaluation and heart test. The cost of the visit will cost between $250 - $350.

If you can donate towards his care, please go to and click the Pay Pal button. Please note "Medical Fund" in the subject area and any extra money will go towards the medical care of others in the adoption center.

Thank you!

The Face of Statistics

I heard from a good friend that there was an old beagle at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection in Roanoke. A call to the center confirmed he was still there, and as it happened we had an empty run at Angels of Assisi, and I had the afternoon off from my real job. The sun, moon and stars all seemed to point in the direction that he come to our adoption center, so off I went to pick him up.

Arriving at the center, I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to ask to see all the dogs. However when I opened my mouth and the words tumbled out “Mind if I go back and take a look through?” I wanted to suck them back in. How do you prepare yourself to look into the eyes of an animal that may be dead next week, or tomorrow? How do you chose who goes, who stays?

The kennel attendant arrived to walk me through, and she told me the stories of some, while we looked at the cards on others. Each dog was excited to see us, and 99% of them were friendly, licking my hand through the gates. First a beautiful German Shepard- his 85 year old owner went to a nursing home. A black lab- found roaming the streets. Others were the victims of family allergies, lost homes, and new babies. Some had absolutely no known history at all.

The tour came to an end, and I collected the beagle I came for. He was older, very overweight, dirty, and shedding copious amounts of hair. He was barking non-stop- almost sounding like a seal on steroids. Actually he may look a little like that too. We left the center and he immediately stopped barking, and went potty outside; I think he had been holding it for a while. He looked up at me and grinned, then jumped into the car. He stuck his nose out the window and enjoyed every minute of the ride to Angels of Assisi. Once there, we discovered he knows his name (Marley). He knows how to sit and lay down. If you start to pet him he immediately rolls over so you can scratch his belly. We put him in a crate where he could see everyone in the adoption center, and he did not bark. He wagged his tail and watched every move we made, and was delighted if we stopped to give him a pat. To summarize, he is awesome.

Today we will be getting 3 more dogs from the RCACP- a black lab who was not socialized the first year of his life, a white pit mix with a huge heart and a deformed and dangling right front leg, and another beautiful pit that belonged to a soldier who was deployed to Iraq. I wish we could get word to him that his dog is safe.

Last year in Roanoke alone over 4000 homeless pets were killed. Over 4000. The lost yet hopeful souls between the metal kennel bars and concrete dividers are living, breathing, sentient beings. As puppies they played and were carefree; some may have known the happiness of being part of a family, sleeping in someone’s bed, and chewing bones. Others may not know anything about that- we have 2 dogs at Assisi now who spent their entire lives tied up outside to a tree. These dogs deserve a family too.

I am not blaming the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection. This is a community issue, and it is up to us to make a change. First off, let’s not shy away from the magnitude of the problem that over 4000 pets were killed in Roanoke last year. You can visit the ones awaiting their fate at 1510 Baldwin Avenue. They exist and live about 10 minutes from downtown Roanoke. They have warm brown eyes, wet noses, and wagging tails. Many have pretty collars on, some have scars from old collars that were too tight and dug in their skin. They all have leashes hanging on the outside of their kennels in case someone wants to take them out.

Encourage your neighbors, friends and co-workers to spay and neuter their pets. Choose an animal to promote for adoption. Try fostering- it opens up room at the adoption center and allows another animal to be saved.

Most importantly, we all have individual strengths and ways to contribute; we have seen this in our network of photographers, foster homes, transporters, PR folks, feral cat caretakers, dog walkers and email warriors. Recognizing and channeling our talents and passions in the right direction can make an extraordinary difference in our community, and I think we can do it.


January 18, 2010

Tanner Goes Home

Tanner (pictured on the left) was rescued from the Danville Animal Shelter about a month ago by our wonderful friend and dog trainer Melanie Schlaginhaufen. She worked with Tanner and found that he was a very sweet dog, and learned quickly. He went to his forever home over the weekend, and seemed really happy with his new beagle sister, Katie.

We appreciate Melanie and all our foster homes very much. Dogs and cats that go from a foster home to their forever homes have a much easier time adapting as they are used to being in a house and with other people and pets. Thank you!


January 15, 2010

Yankee Dogs

Last Wednesday evening, Ellie and Daytona left for New Hampshire to the Cocheco Valley Humane Society for a new start in life. They traveled overnight with 8 dogs from the Franklin County Animal Shelter in a snazzy van rented especially for the trip. The Cocheco Valley Humane Society has a wonderful reputation for working with people to place hound dogs as family pets. A great big thank you to Anita Scott for her relentless pursuit of finding homes for the pets in her community and ours.

Ellie and Daytona, we wish you a new life of happiness in your new northern digs.


January 13, 2010

Our hearts go out to all those in Haiti, both people and animals. Wishing you all the peace and comfort there is...

January 12, 2010

Pretty Darn Cool

A Home for Annie

Annie was originally rescued from Hurricane Katrina. Since arriving in Roanoke in the fall of 2005, she has endured a bout of heartworm treatment, a dog attack, and years of waiting for a family. She has also had a group of volunteers who never gave up on her, even though she would have been deemed un-adoptable by many.

Annie started her new chapter in life last Sunday. At exactly 2 pm, when the adoption center doors opened, her new owner Joe was there waiting for her. Joe had met Annie the day before at the Roanoke Home Show, and spent Saturday night getting ready for her. So far things are going well, and we are eternally grateful to Joe for seeing the wonderful, loving dog behind the baggage that many others could get not around. We wish them well in their journey together.

When the world says, "Give up," hope whispers, "Try it one more time. ~

Empty Cages

"Being kind to animals is not enough. Avoiding cruelty is not enough. Housing animals in more comfortable, larger cages is not enough. Whether we exploit animals to eat, to wear, to entertain us, or to learn, the truth of animal rights requires empty cages, not larger cages"

Tom Reagen

A Very Good Boy

Nicholas came from a local shelter as the result of one of those late night emails- "Angels of Assisi, pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeen can you take this boy?"  Attached to the email was the photo below, and arrangements were made for transport.

Nicholas is a very good dog. He has some trouble seeing, and will occasionally bump into something, but we think that makes him even more precious. He also has the biggest feet!

Nicholas made his debut at the Roanoke Home and Garden Show over the weekend, and had a blast. After a training session, a long walk, and meeting lots of new people, he was very content to sit in Norm's lap and take a much needed nap.

Nicholas is ready for adoption! You may visit him anyday between 2-6 pm ♥


January 11, 2010

Her True Colors are Shining Through

We first posted about Dianna here, and are happy to report that she is doing very well. Her coat is coming back, and she has put some weight like we hoped and expected she would.

What we did not expect was the extraordinary spirit of Dianna. Yes, we knew she was very sweet, but as she has started feeling better physically, her personality has come out more and more. Despite her background, "breed", and less that ideal situation living in the adoption center, Dianna is gentle, smart, and a true lady.

She is pictured below with her friend, Sophia.

Dianna is ready for adoption! You may visit her here or at the adoption center anyday between 2-6 pm.

. .

January 8, 2010

Red Sox Fan

Angels of Assisi is at the Roanoke Home and Garden Show all weekend, and little puppy Vince is one of the dogs we brought for the adoption event today. For the entire afternoon he was Mr. Tough Guy- barking at the other dogs, tormenting the cats, jumping up and slamming his cute white paws down like he meant business!

Then Salem Red Sox Mascot came to visit, and Vince was suddenly not so brave. He quietly posed for this photo, then promptly took a nap.

A Good Year For Barn Cats

We got this email from Diane of Barn Cat Buddies last night. If there ever was a an angel for felines, Diane is that person. We appreciate her dedication and love for these often forgotten cats, like Cody and Dylan show above, very much ♥

It's time to celebrate... the numbers are in. The Barn Cat Buddies Program is happy to announce that in 2009, 123 needy felines were placed in horse and cattle barns, warehouses, plant nurseries, and homes that needed Rodent Control Technicians.

I'd like to take this time to thank everyone who adopted one or more barn cat buddies who cross-posted an email for a needy cat, hung up a flyer (or 20); passed out a business card and helped either directly or indirectly in getting an animal adopted. It truly TAKES A VILLAGE when it comes to animal rescue but I KNOW this program could not have survived if it weren't for wonderful people like YOU!!

A special thanks first to my husband and son who ever patiently wait their turn to get my attention while I tap away at the computer, or talk on the cellphone while I burn dinner!! I love and appreciate you guys more than you'll ever know.

Thank you to Norm and Barb Mason for creating Angels of Assisi and Harmony the safe haven for unwanted and abandoned animals, and for allowing Barn Cat Buddies to have their base of operations at Assisi. You guys are so special!

Thank you sweet Lisa for your endless support, friendship in the midsts of many a storm; thank you to the amazing staff of Angels and especially Dr. Shelley, Bobby, Tammy, Deb and Connie, my go-to gals, always greeting me with a smile even when the place is exploding with activity!! Many thanks to Wendy S, and Chris K for their un-ending devotion to the Tomato cats of Shawsville and for fostering forever; to Rick McDonald our talented webmaster and his wife Sarah a fellow rescuer and sounding board, to Margot for dusting off her sewing machine and making miracles out of cloth and for not hanging up on me when I ask her to help; to the Giles Saviors; Kathy P. Julie L., and Starflower for making room for so many . To Betty H for her incredible contacts and carpentry skills!! To Kendrick for her energy and devotion to the strays EVERYWHERE, to Jo and Roxie H. for their love of those abandoned cats and kittens no one considers theirs; to my friends Trudy and Donny who always show up with a huge bag of cat food for 'anyone' who needs it; to my radio guys, Steve Akers of Sound Advice and Tim Ernandes of WSLK who ;et me indulge in my secret while doing PSA's... you guys rock!

And a very special thank you to Reba Dillon who has been my BARN ANGEL for two years and who has NEVER said NO when I had an emergency; and when didn't I?

Finally, I thank Grand Home Furnishings, Sam's Club, The Franklin County Republican Committee, and SML Women's Auxiliary Club for their generousity beyond measure.

You have all directly or indirectly been responsible for helping animals who were homeless or hungry or continued to reproduce... On behalf of them, I thank you with all my heart! G-d Bless and Love, Diane


To see how you can help these efforts. please visit !


January 6, 2010

Home Alone

Right before Christmas a neighbor reported a house that had been abandoned with 4 precious lives inside. We appreciate the The Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection in Roanoke for transferring them to Angels of Assisi last Saturday.

They are an awesome bunch- full of love and ready for Chapter 2 in their lives. You can meet Dutch, Buddy, Yuri, and Charlie anyday between 2-6 pm at 415 Campbell Avenue.


January 4, 2010

Lost But Not Found

Eddy was lost on Sunday night in the Grandin Rd/Wasena area. Being a hound, he could be following his nose just about anywhere.

Eddy was adopted from Angels of Assisi several years ago. He came from a very high kill shelter and was in terrible shape- malnourished, full of fleas, and had sores on his feet. Yet all of that was hardly noticed because of the the great big number "13" spray painted on his side. When he arrived at Angels of Assisi, volunteers scrubbed him clean, and his awesome personality won everyone over.

Eddy was adopted into a wonderful and loving family, and they want their boy back. He has a collar on with his owner's name and number, or you may call 400-2233 with any leads.

January 3, 2010

Foster Pups

Kelsey, the mama dog who was quite pregnant when she came in for spay surgery, was lucky enough to find a great foster home where she could have her babies. From the look of things, the babies had a very happy and exhausting Christmas.

Many thanks to foster parents Kim and Dave for giving these pups a second chance. ♥♥♥

January 2, 2010

Queen of the Mountain

Despite the cold weather this morning, Sophie and her friends Jake and Daytona were having a blast chasing each other up this snowbank. The threesome ran with and at each other, playing a dog version of tag. Tails were wagging, Jake was doing his goofy little half jog/half skip thing that he does when he is really happy, and Sophie claimed the top of the snowdrift as often as she could.

These three dogs are still waiting for a home; they don't have fancy toys, fancy beds, or a person to call their own. They do have the kindness of staff and volunteers and the company of each other. Combine that with some outside play time and a cool snowdrift, and they are happy to be alive. We are happy they are alive too, and can't wait for the day when they have a real family. Life may be good now, Sophie, Jake, and Daytona, but we know a better future is waiting for you.