September 30, 2010

This One Is For The Good Guys

In the midst of thanking everyone for their overwhelming support during the Bedford Rescue and Trooper's bumpy road to recovery, it's time to take a pause and remember all the regular cat, kitten, dog and puppy residents in our adoption center.

The "Assisi adoptables" have had their daily routine turned around, and are surrounded with new people, new smells, and a bunch of new critters. For the most part they watch with quiet fascination, but one has to wonder what they are thinking...

"oh great, another calico cat to compete against" ...

"would you look at the size of his tail??"...

"what happened to her foot??"...

"hey, the lady that usually takes me for a walk is cleaning stinkin' cat pans! the nerve! hello! HELLO! I'm over here! remember me?!?" ....

"you want me to share my outside play time with him? are you kidding?" ...

"that little tabby in the corner is kinda cute"...

"oh, look, how sad that beagle is, poor thing"... 

"outside play time with a tall, dark, and handsome Lab may turn out to be fun after all"...

"think she'll do some catnip with us? I bet she will"...

"remember when they rescued us? how scared we were? and then we got used to things and we're ok now. they will be too"...

"one of these days we'll leave the adoption center, and go to a new home. these new guys will too"...

'looks like we're all in this together, welcome friends"...


If you would like to help, please consider adopting or fostering one of the Assisi dogs or cats that are ready for adoption. You can see the list here. They have all been rescued one way or another, and they all deserve the love and security of a real family.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
~Anatole France

Bedford Rescue Dogs and Cats- aka "Bedford Biscuits"

Staff and volunteers continue the work of caring for 102 new animals at 415 Campbell Avenue. All of the Bedford Rescue dogs and cats need medical intervention, and a fund has been established for cases such as these. Please click here to read about the Biscuit Fund. We appreciate and need everyone's support and networking more than words can express- thank you.

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


Sending Good Vibes To Trooper Biscuit

We just got word that Trooper went back to surgery for an abscess that developed in his mouth. All in all, it is not that surprising... when he originally arrived at Angels of Assisi, all of his wounds were full of maggots. Dr. Farrell pulled about 100 out of his face and mouth. It’s a good thing he has such a will to live, because the road to recovery will be long. Hang in there, buddy.

We're thankful he is in good hands at Vinton Vet Clinic- updates to follow.

Fellow Travelers

Last weekend, a string of volunteers transported several dogs from a high kill shelter in Georgia to a no kill rescue in Maryland. To give the dogs a rest and break up the trip, several stayed overnight at Angels of Assisi.

This is one of the dogs on the transport. He was very fearful, but loved his rawhide bone and held onto it like a kid with a teddy bear. We hope he is settled in his new foster home and getting lots and lots of TLC.

More On Trooper

Click here for WSLS news story. It is helpful to post a comment and share the link so that the media knows these issues are improtatnt and will keep the coverage coming for Trooper and other cases in the future.

September 29, 2010


A lot of hopeful people crowded the Angels of Assisi waiting room this afternoon. We had invited Bedford folks who were missing dogs or cats to take a tour of all the animals at 4:30 pm. Everyone arrived early, and then patiently waited for us to let them downstairs.

I think we were all anxious, and all praying and crossing our fingers for a reunion. Eyes quickly scanned the rows of cages; we went out in the rain to see the dogs that were getting their playtime, and back inside to look again. We went through each and every cat and kitten.

For those who did not find your beloved pet, we're sorry. We wanted to give you the chance to know beyond a doubt that your pet was not in our building. Pets touch our lives so deeply, and our biggest hope is that one day you will find your family member. We're sorry it was not today.

A few people may have found their happy ending. Those folks were referred to Bedford Animal Control to file a report. Meanwhile, the animals will stay at Angels of Assisi and wait for the legalities to be finalized.

Thank you to everyone who came today; in doing so you gave our overworked staff hope and a reminder that there are good people in the world who love and care for their animals. We appreciate you.

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

For those who could not make it in today, we have another tour scheduled for Saturday at 2 pm.

More On Bedford Rescue Number 97

Turns out he knows how to shake, or maybe he's just trying to impress a cute girl. Either way, he's a good boy, and we're happy to have him.

Trooper Biscuit- Improving

Thanks to the great staff at at Vinton Veterinary Hospital, little Trooper is feeling better. He is receiving heavy duty antibiotics, hydrotherapy, and lots of TLC. Today he was able to walk for the first time.

Hang in there buddy- you've got a lot of people pulling for you.

Lost But Not Found In Bedford

Several folks from the Bedford area have called or emailed wondering if their lost pets may have been brought in with the 103 from the rescue last Monday. We are allowed to bring people through the building to see if their missing pets are at Angels of Assisi, but by appointment only. If they are, we will need to keep them at Angels of Assisi until after the court case. All the animals will be taken care of and safe.

If you would like to look for your missing pet, please contact us at and we will be happy to help.

Helping Hoarded Animals

From The Happy Wag- thanks Nona!

Update on Trooper Biscuit

He is feeling better and trying to stand on his own this morning. More info to follow!

Bedford Rescue #97

Number 97- not a proper name for this sweet dog. The Bedford rescue dogs and cats are settling in nicely. At this time we are still doing triage, medical care, record keeping, cleaning, feeding, cleaning, laundry, and more cleaning.

Next on the agenda, changing "numbers" into real names.

September 28, 2010

Fearless Leaders

The Bedford Animal Control Officers have been outstanding partners in the Bedford rescue. We appreciate their professionalism and support during, let's face it, a pretty stressful few days. They have gone above and beyond in the post-seizure of the animals, and we appreciate them very much.

We'd also like to thank Jill Deegan for offering her expertise and staying at the site all day yesterday. Animal Control agencies across the state and beyond can always count on Jill to lend a helping hand, a wealth of knowledge, and a kind heart.

Bedford ACO Adam Hopkins, Botetourt Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jill Deegan, and Bedford ACO Dan Harmony - great work!  

Update on Trooper Biscuit

This afternoon Trooper was transferred to Vinton Veterinary Hospital for some extra care. We were concerned about some swelling in his back legs, and their hospital is more equipped to handle serious cases like Trooper. As soon as he gets cleared, he will return to Angels of Assisi, and eventually go to his foster home.

His story will be on channel 10 and channel 7 tonight, links to follow. A special thanks to Dr. Farrell for all her care (while on vacation!) and Patti Lucas for driving him over to Vinton.

Donations can made via The Biscuit Fund for his care- thank you.

Hang in there, Trooper, we're all pulling for you.

The plastic tubes in his head and leg are actually drains to help ease the swelling and infection.

Bedford Rescue

At this time, staff and volunteers have are going about the business of taking care of 103 new residents at Angels of Assisi. Please click here, here, here and here for the news stories.

We need and appreciate your support. Donations for medical care are at the top of the list, please click here to help. We also need towels and volunteers for cleaning.

Thank you to the staff and volunteers for helping yesterday...

Deb and Bobbie, thank you for working a 17 hour day with a smile on your faces. Dr. Shelley and Dr. Emily, thank you for staying at the clinic until 10:30 pm last night, and for the all the hours you will put in this week.

Bo, Tammy, Logan, Brittany, Amber- thank you for staying well into the night cleaning and feeding. Rick and Sarah, we always know you will show up in our time of need, thank you. Dr. Farrell- you came intending to meet some old friends for lunch during your vacation, and ended up working a 10 hour day; we loved having you back in the clinic.

Bo, Zack, Tim, you'll have 10 times the workload for a while, and we know you had a full one already. Thank you.

Norm and Barb Mason are the founders of Angels of Assisi, and they never waiver when are we asked to help with a rescue. They are beyond doubt a voice for those who can't speak.

Soon our 15 minutes of fame will be over, but the incredible workload of caring for 102 animals will continue. Take a look at some of them below, and you'll see why it's all worthwhile.

Trooper Biscuit

In the middle of the Bedford rescue yesterday, a kind volunteer named Steve brought us this brave little dog, now named Trooper. All 32 pounds of him are covered in puncture wounds, abrasions, and skin infections. If you can look past the awfulness of what happened to him, you will find some very trusting eyes and a will to get better. Although he had to be carried from the car, he tried with all his might to stand up for us.

Dr. Kelly Farrell, who is visiting the area on vacation, spent 3 hours working on Trooper yesterday. He spent the night sedated and will be on IV's for a while. The sheriff and animal control have been notified, and we hope they can find whoever let this happen.

Thank you, Steve, for having a big ole' heart, and saving Trooper. And Dr, Farrell, you have always been special to us, and we appreciate you more than words can say.

A fund has been set up at Angels of Assisi for such cases. Please click here to see how you can help.


September 26, 2010

Update on Mr. Specs

He handles his therapy well. He goes outside to go potty without any trouble. He keeps his crate clean. He sleeps like a little kid with his gangly legs sticking out in all directions. He loves taking his medicine. He's always happy to see us. He does not know why, but he knows he can only be out of his crate 3 times a day, and happily returns to it. He never knocks over his water bowl. In short, he is the best dog ever, and well on his way to recovery.

The New Guy

Benji came from the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection last week. He loves to be held and is perfectly happy on his back in the crook of your arm. A special thanks to Ann Marie at the RVSPCA, Stan at RCACP, and Patti Lucas for working together to give this guy a second chance.

Writing on the Wall

These stickers displayed in our front door really wrap up the Angels of Assisi mission.

Spay and Neuter your pets: an estimated 3-4 million  cats and dogs are killed in shelters each year.

Go Vegetarian- at least one day a week. It's good for you, good for the animals, and good for the planet.

The Biscuit Fund- making sure the neglected and abused pets in our community are cared for.

Thank you for supporting the mission as well, and we and can't say it enough... together we can make a difference- just ask Othello shown below ♥

September 24, 2010

Second Leg of the Journey

Mr. Specs made his way to Angels of Assisi today, and will stay with us for some rehab and physical therapy. Icing legs, performing range of motion exercises and using extreme caution during potty breaks are not normal routines in our spay/neuter clinic. We don't often walk dogs with a towel wrapped around their hindquarters to support their back legs from slipping, but we're trying hard and establishing a comfortable routine already.

Just as this is new to us, it's new for Mr. Specs as well. He's not used to living in a crate, he's not used to all the new faces, and, quite frankly, he's not used to having a towel wrapped around his hindquarters while he's trying to pee.

But he is trying hard to please us and make the best of it. You can see the wheels turning as he navigates the maze of our building when it's time to go outside. On the last potty break tonight, he made all the correct turns to the front door, and seemed pretty pleased with himself.

He makes sure to get right up in your ear when you’re close to him, gobbles his meds with enthusiasm, shows appropriate appreciation for his soft bed, and generally makes it easy to fall in love with him. Thanks Mr. Specs- 4 more weeks and you'll be home safe and sound ♥

A very special thank you to Dr. Spangler and staff for caring for this great guy! We appreciate you!

We appreciate any donation that can be made to cover his surgery (thanks to those that donated through the website and are not shown in the tally below).

The Scoop on Mr. Specs

Last Monday, Mr. Specs had left rear leg ACL repair surgery. At the same time, he had an infected screw and washer removed from a previous ACL repair in his right leg. He has bum knees and a "not so hot" front leg as well, but it certainly does not keep this happy boy down. He is known and appreciated at his rescue home for fostering orphan puppies.

A very special thank you to Dr. Eric Krauss and the Franklin County Animal Hospital for taking on his case. Without Dr. Krauss, this expensive surgery would have been out of the question. As of today, we need to raise $400 to cover the remaining expenses. Please see the ChipIn box below- any donation will be appreciated and used to cover his bill at Franklin County Animal Hospital.

Mr. Specs will be coming to Angels of Assisi today for a few weeks recovery before he returns home to West Virginia. We're looking forward to meeting this special boy, and will keep everyone updated on his progress ♥

September 22, 2010

Alumni at McAfee Knob

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.”

Milan Kundera

September 21, 2010

Fuchsia Gets A Break, While Her Former Owner Catches Some Heat

At long last, Fuchsia went to a foster home today. We know it's been hard on her to be kenneled at Angels of Assisi. She's a high energy girl, and was happiest when her faithful dog walker companions came to take her out for a ride in the car and a stroll in the park. Tonight she'll be in a real home, with her own people and her own bed for the first time in years, if ever. As her outside scars heal, we wish her peace and a sense of belonging on the inside as well.

Meanwhile, her former owner, a police officer, is the focus of a lot of attention since his conviction of animal cruelty a few weeks ago. Be sure to visit the links here, here, here, and here. If you'd like to be a voice for the animals, the media is a great place to comment and share your opinion. Newspapers note the number of clicks stories receive so it is always a good idea to click on animal related stories -- and then forward them to your friends. Forwards and shares are also counted. This lets our newspapers and television stations know that animal welfare is an important issue, and they will likely cover them more frequently. It's also very important be professional and avoid snarkey comments, no matter how tempting!

As alway, thanks to Vickie Holt for the wonderful photo.


September 20, 2010

Marching To The Beat

In the conclusion of 'Walden', Thoreau writes, "If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away."

Harmony Farm Sanctuary has one cow that Thoreau would appreciate, and her name is Troublemaker, Dang it, what did she do now?, $%^#@, Escape Artist, Pumpkin. She is the reason for extra strong gates at the driveway, many a trampled flower bed, surprise appearances in the garage, and, Oh, Hello There Animal Control Officer Horton! Fine weather we're having! What brings you here? What's that you say, a report of an escaped cow gone wild?? 

Yes, she has a mind of her own, but we like to think of her as a free spirit. She's also special enough to be one of the few cows at the farm who has a sponsor family, and we appreciate them very much.

So, carry on, Miss Pumpkin. Hold your head high and be true to yourself. Just try and do it in your own yard, please.

A Peaceful Sunday at Harmony Farm Sanctuary

Yesterday Vickie Holt and I met at the farm, so she could get some new shots of the animals. It was a beautiful late summer weekend, and people and animals alike seemed to be taking in the warmth and trying to hold on to the last bits of summer. I certainly was trying to slow time down and appreciate the day.

Later, I asked Vickie to share a few of the photos, and asked specifically for some that portrayed a peaceful Sunday afternoon. My intentions were to make an attempt and spin it into some type of story describing the farm. However, Vickie, a much better writer than I, nailed it without even trying. Enjoy the photos and an excerpt from her email. Click here to see some more of Vickie's writing- these are pieces she actually wanted to have seen. Many heartfelt thanks to Vickie for her love, care and concern for the creatures on this planet we call home.

From Vickie:

Okay, I think I've made my choices. There are 6 photos to go along with your theme of "quiet Sunday on the farm". A time to spend with friends, a time to feel joy and a time for quiet contemplation. The first three photos portray "spending time with friends". The 4th and 5th photos portray a time to feel joy, because the pig and sheep both look like they're smiling. And the final photo is of a goat who decided to be my shadow for awhile. His photo portrays "quiet contemplation". He was contemplating eating my snake stick. ;-)

Human Beings, indeed all sentient beings,
have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and freedom.

-- The XIVth Dalai Lama