October 26, 2010

Oh Trooper!

Just when we thought Trooper was getting to trust people this happened...

Update on Trooper Biscuit

Our good friend Steve found Trooper one month ago today. A lot has happened to and for Trooper since then, including several surgeries, a trip to Virginia Tech, therapy, infection control and pain management. 

Trooper has had an outpouring of love from all over the country, and donations from as far away as Minnesota and California. We appreciate each and every kind thought and donation sent his way.

Last week, Steve got to see Trooper for the first time since he brought him to our clinic, when he was full of maggots, puncture wounds, and an incredible will to live. The reunion was a happy one, and here is a posting from Steve:


Last Thursday, Ella & I went to Roanoke for a show that she'd given me tickets for for my birthday. In talking with folks from Angels, they put me in touch with the folks who are caring for him - his foster family, as well as the family waiting to adopt him. We worked it out to where we were able to go see him on our way to Roanoke.

He had the surgery on Wednesday to remove the right eye. An earlier visit to Virginia Tech determined that he was blind already in that eye, and that it was both a source for continuing infection & pain for him. It was at that point that they decided the best option for him was to have it removed. They said the pain in the short term would be significant, but that it was best for long-term health.

While the eye looks bad, you can see a lot of life in the one good one he has. This dog has got the heart of a lion, and to see what he is at now versus where he was, he is a million times better than he was less than a month ago.

I found out in talking with his foster family that they've determined that he also has a broken front left leg. Its the smaller bone in that leg, and what appears to have happened is that another dog had bitten him & punctured the leg, broke that bone, which appears to have either dissolved or has been pushed out of the leg. It's 2 loose ends that will just have to knit back together naturally. From what they said, it just causes some stability problems for him & is not painful.

On the good side, he's gained about 8-10 lbs, and is a ball of solid muscle. He was on morphine in the photos we have, and he is very subdued according to reports. Some of the pictures that were emailed to me support that - several are out of focus where he's in such constant motion.

It was really good to see Trooper. He's got a lot of things ahead of him, not all of them pleasant, but he has a wonderful, loving home that he's in now, as well as a forever one waiting for him, much much more than what he had a month ago.

Doorstep Doggie

The little pooch found on our doorstep in the early morning hours is doing well. He's started treatment for his heartworms, and has had several folks interested in adopting him already.

Out Of The Dark

Vickie Holt's photographs of the Angels of Assisi pets are something we look forward to each week. She can take a scruffy kitty, one that lived in a double wide trailer with 102 other animals, with a stench so bad officials had to don protective gear before entering, and bring out her individuality, her resilience, and her hope for a better future.

October 25, 2010

Alumni Monday

‎"Shelters cannot continue to be slaughterhouses and friends of animals cannot continue killing healthy beings in the name of mercy. A new and larger vision is needed, a vision in which shelters hold themselves accountable for meeting demanding performance standards that preserve life – not destroy it." ~

(1989) Edward Duvin -

Nautica was rescued from a local pound with a high kill rate. She had a bum leg, and therefore very few options. Her Cage Card did not have a "rescue hold" sign. Yet her sweet spirit shined brighter than her crooked leg, and through volunteers she made her way to Angels of Assisi.

Soon she was adopted to a wonderful family, who did not mind the bum leg. They fell in love with her sweet spirit, and knew others would too. In fact, they are taking it a step further and believe that handicapped kids may learn and relate to her, and we agree. Nautica is now in the process of entering a visitation program for handicapped children.

From a high kill shelter to a therapy dog- good things happen when we work together, and keep the best interest of the animals at heart. 

October 19, 2010

A Delivery From The Stork

This little fellow was left on our front doorstep overnight with a leash and a bag of food. He received his initial round of shots, and we found out he is heartworm positive. He's got a tough road of heartworm treatments ahead, but hopefully he will pull through. He's a sweet little guy, just somewhat confused right now.

Update on Trooper Biscuit

Trooper went to Virginia Tech for an expert opinion on his right eye today. It has not healed very well, and we were concerned that it was becoming painful.

I picked him up at 7 am, and after the usual happy greeting, he jumped right in the car. When we arrived at Virginia Tech, there was an initial air of slight apprehension from the staff. After all, performing a painful eye exam in very close proximity to any dog's mouth would be a concern, let alone one on a pit bull. But Trooper greeted every staff member in his calm, unassuming and friendly manner, and immediately had all at ease.

An hour of poking, prodding, and shining lights in both eyeballs ensued. Trooper did not move a muscle, and let the Veterinarians and students do their thing. His foster mom describes him as stoic, and she is right.

As uncomfortable as the procedures were, he never flinched. After the exam was done, he even let each student take a closer look, and he seemed to listen in as questions were raised and answered. They asked me to leave the exam room while they finished the paperwork. A few minutes later, a Vet student appeared and asked if it was OK for him to have a treat. Soon another appeared, and said she could not believe how sweet this dog was. Then a third appeared and asked if he was available for adoption, because he had won over each and every person on the team. And after that he made friends with the receptionist and the housekeeper.

After a lot of discussion, it was determined that Trooper will need his right eye removed. He is definitely blind in that eye now. The Vet said it may be due to a bite that almost punctured his cornea, or it may be from trauma to the head that hurt his optic nerve. Either way, his cornea is very fragile and is becoming painful, and will most likely never heal.

We will schedule the eye surgery as soon as possible, and meanwhile Trooper has returned to his loving foster home.

Today, once again, this little "bait dog" proved what an unbreakable spirit he has. They say that "eyes are the window to the soul" ... Trooper may be down to one good eye, but he wears his kind and gentle nature on the outside. It's not only something you look into his heart and see, but also a calm and peaceful feeling he brings to everyone he meets. He has certainly made our lives better, and I have a feeling this boy has something wonderful coming in his future.

October 14, 2010

Fuchsia Gets A New Name & A Fresh Start

Fuchsia is doing really well in her new foster home. The dog who was aggressive towards other dogs at Angels of Assisi is seen below relaxing with another Dobie.

Her foster mom said:  Fuchsia (now Charmin) is doing wonderful- she is putting weight on and playing with the rest of the gang. I still have to watch her with the min pins but she is doing great! Here is a picture I was lucky to get as she never sits still long enough.

Many thanks to Fuchsia's (Charmin's) faithful Angels of Assisi volunteers who believed in her enough to take her out and about, and start the introduction to other dogs. That was a not a job for the faint of heart! Also, thank you to Jill Deegan and Kathy Davieds for networking to get her into foster care. And a million hugs to Northcoast Doberman Rescue for taking this girl in and giving her a second shot in life.

October 12, 2010

A Time For Pumpkin

Sweet, shy Pumpkin went to foster today. We hope hope hope hope it all goes well for her.

Update on Trooper Biscuit

Trooper was back in the clinic today to get neutered. He'll be on Channel 10 tonight, along with Office Manager Deb delivering with a special message about spaying and neutering your pit bull!

While Trooper was in for surgery, he also had some more work done to his face. The Vet's are still very pleased with his progress. And matter how much poking and prodding they do, he still greets everyone with a happy wag of the tail and a sweet, gentle manner.

RIP Little One

This kitten was dropped off at Angels of Assisi last Sunday as a donation. She was sick when she arrived, and never bounced back. As in the photo below, she slept most of the time. Losing an innocent life never gets easier, and we hope her journey to the Rainbow Bridge was a peaceful one. 

October 11, 2010

Donations At Work

Thank you for your supporting Angels of Assisi and the Biscuit Fund. It is because of you that we can help faces like these.

Hopefully these sweethearts will be able to go up for adoption soon...

Thanks to Vickie Holt for the great photos. Rumor has it she only has 29 of the 103 Bedford Biscuits left to photograph! Not bad!

Thanks Channel 7!

Pets rescued from Bedford Co. home get their time in spotlight
Angels of Assisi has a volunteer photographer take all their pictures; a rarity for animal shelters


October 10, 2010

Bedford Biscuits Get A Chance To Shine

The 103 Bedford Biscuits have settled in, and the staff has maintained a faster paced routine to take of everyone. Many thanks to all who have volunteered their time to help clean, walk, medicate, and do laundry.

Angels of Assisi is thankful to have one special lady come to the adoption center every single weekend. She is armed with heavy equipment and a creative twinkle in her eyes. She knows each animal well, and always stops to let a cat jump in her arms or give a dog an extra scratch behind the ear.

Photographer Vickie Holt not only captures the souls and spirits of the animals, she captures our hearts along with them.

As the stories unfold, the 103 Bedford animals have been lumped together as one big group. Over the last few photo sessions, Vickie has worked to show each individual personality and each individual spirit.

After viewing the photos below, we'd say mission accomplished. Thank you, Vickie. No matter what the situation, we can always count on you to have the best interest of the animlals at heart. Thanks for using your creativity for the good guys, and giving them a chance to shine.

October 9, 2010


Blue Collar Joes's in Daleville invited us to host an adoption event today. (Actually, they invited us a long time ago- a standing invitation no less- and we finally got organized enough to bring some dogs and cats up to beautiful Botetourt).

Our friends at the League For Animal Protection were attending another event today, but we brought along one of their dogs named Munchkin. Munchkin has been waiting for a home for a quite a while, and as it turned out this was his day. He left Blue Collar Joe's and went for a "meet and greet" at his potential new home. All went really well, and a match was made.

Here is Munchkin's adoption photo, and one with his new family. Have a great life, buddy ♥

A special thank you to Daniel and his caring staff at Blue Collar Joe's for having us. We also have a deep appreciation for Pat Shaver and the dedicated group of volunteers at LAP. These folks do a lot for the pets in our community!

October 8, 2010

Dr. Emily Gallagher

Dr. Emily Gallagher came through the Angels of Assisi clinic as a student at Virginia Tech. I remember the staff speaking very highly of her, and they were all sorry to see her leave at the end of her rotation.

Time marched on, the sun and moon aligned just right, and down the road we had an opening for a Veterinarian the same time Dr. Emily was looking for a position. A match made in heaven (at least as far as we were concerned!).

It was our intention to introduce Dr. Emily into the world of a high volume spay/neuter clinic nice and easy, but you known how the best laid plans go.

In September alone she and Dr. Spangler handled 577 spay and neuter surgeries, 81 heartworm tests, 147 feline combo tests, 52 adoptions, and 792 rabies shots.

Top that off with the 103 animals rescued from Bedford, our regular adoption center animals, a recovering pooch named Mr. Specs, Botetourt and Craig county neglect and cruelty cases, a little "bait dog" named Trooper, and it's safe to say she has been properly initiated.

We love Dr. Emily because she handles it all with a steadfast, common sense approach. Happiest in scrubs or jeans, she is probably the most down to earth person I've met. We've seen her handle a complicated spay surgery, and we've seen her crawling on her hands and knees under cages trying to net a feral cat. She handles each situation with logic, a good knowledge base, and a smile on her face.

Welcome to our crazy world, Dr. Emily; we're really happy to have you!

Kids Doing Good

Alex, from Boy Scout Troop Number 1, brought in a bunch of donations today. He and his troop collected dog food, cat food, and some really great cat play toys. Thanks guys! We appreciate you!

There's No Place Like Home

Cheyenne is a senior dog who came to Angels of Assisi last summer. Her family was going through a tough time, and did not have the ability to keep her. The initial agreement was for Cheyenne to have a safe haven while they worked things out. However as weeks went on, her family agreed it was best to put her up for adoption.

Cheyenne was moved to one of the kennels right on the adoption floor, so she could get as much exposure as possible. Many people stopped to see her, offer a kind hand and special treats, but no takers on adoption. Turns out that was the best thing that could have happened. Her family came in today. Their situation has improved, and they were hopeful she was still with us. And sure enough there she was. A tail wagged, papers were signed, and Cheyenne went home.

Look Who Came To Visit- Trooper Biscuit!

Trooper got to hang out with the Angels of Assisi staff today, and he is doing wonderful! He has turned into an active one year old pup, walks well on a leash, loves to visit with everyone and gets into everything. He has gained 7 pounds, and his wounds are healing nicely. He may need a skin graft to his lip, and we'll keep you posted on that development. Overall, the Vet's could not be more pleased with his progress.

Oh, and guess what.... the little pitbull pup that was probably used as a "bait dog" and torn to pieces....loves other dogs.

October 7, 2010

Bedford Rescue- 2 Sides

Since the Bedford Animal Control/Mr.Snellings day in court yesterday, emails have flooded our in-box. Some people are in full support of Mr. Snellings and believe he did not deserve to have his animals taken away. Some people are outraged that he will be allowed to have 3 dogs back.

Based on the facts, the ruling yesterday was made by the good people appointed and qualified to make such a decision. At Angels of Assisi, our role is take care of the animals entrusted to us and follow the orders of the court. For now, that means keeping the animals safe and medically treated for another 10 days to allow Mr. Snellings time to appeal the court's decision.

We will continue to leave the judging up to the judge, and care for the innocent lives caught in the crossfire (like "number 100" pictured below). Thank you for your support during this time, we will keep you posted if/when the Bedford animals can go up for adoption.

Rescued animals from Bedford County may soon be up for adoption | WSLS 10

Rescued animals from Bedford County may soon be up for adoption WSLS 10

October 5, 2010

Good News On Trooper Biscuit

A photo tells a thousand words, and these speak volumes. The little man is bouncing back, and we're thrilled. Thanks to all who have spread the word and donated to the Biscuit Fund for his care. And a very special thank you to his foster family, who have made all the difference in the world.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

~Mark Twain

October 4, 2010

Some Thoughts On These Thoughts

All American Mutt Rescue posted this entry on their facebook page today:

"All American Mutt Rescue has many mixed thoughts/emotions re. Mr. Snelling and his 'hoarded' animals. Nice man, good heart, got in over his head, needs help. The 'owners' of the animals have some responsibility here. If they kept ID (esp microchips) on their pets and kept their pets at home, many could not have ended up with Mr. Snelling. Just a thought."

One week ago, Angels of Assisi took in 102 dogs and cats that were seized by Animal Control. It is now our responsibility to provide these animals safe housing, fresh air, fresh food, fresh water, and as much TLC as possible. It's a lot of work, but when we look into the eyes that are depending on us to care for them, it's all worthwhile.

It is not our place to judge Mr. Snelling, that is what the court system is in place to do. It is not our place to comment or speculate on Mr. Snelling and the situation that led up to the seizure last week. It is however, our place to continue to care for the animals that all need medical intervention.

As compassionate beings, it is also our place to listen to and accommodate the people who may have lost a beloved pet. Chances are slim that their cat or dog is in our building, but it's worth a shot for them to come look.

This situation would have a perfect time to launch a “You Must Microchip Your Pet Or This Could Happen To You" campaign, but we felt it would have been very hurtful to people who feel bad enough about losing a family member. Believe me, every person who walked through our front door in hopes of finding a lost pet wished that pet was microchipped.

Things happen, pets get lost. And yes, sometimes even stolen from "owners" who love them. Seems to me that times are hard enough lately- lost jobs, lost homes, a country at war, and for some an uncertain future.

Let's not insinuate that people we don't even know are irresponsible and made the horrifying error of not microchipping their pets. I think they have learned their lesson, and I bet others have picked up on it too. We're all in this crazy thing called life together; my vote is to leave the judging up to the judge, learn from our mistakes, and move forward.

October 3, 2010

Mr. Specs!

Mr. Specs continues to heal nicely after his surgery a few weeks ago. Dr. Spangler drained a small spot around his incision, but that is not keeping this boy down. It is almost impossible to take a good photo of him because he is in constant motion!

October 2, 2010

Update On Trooper Biscuit

The road to recovery has been bumpy, and we know he's got a long way to go...

Trooper had part of his lip removed last week to help get rid of dead tissue and decrease the chance for more infection. The good news is that he is comfortable in his foster home- for all we know it's the first time time he's been part of a family.

Please understand that while the photos are awful to see, he is on pain medication and healing. We never want this sweet boy to suffer again.

Thank you for your supporting the Biscuit Fund and dogs like little Trooper.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
- Helen Keller