June 30, 2011


These 2 girls will be making their way to Harmony Farm Sanctuary in the next few weeks. They are living in a bad situation in Northern Virginia, and a good rescue friend is not only arranging transport, she'll also be taking them to University of Tennessee for spay surgery.

This thing called Rescue, it's a hard one. There are indeed irresponsible people out there, like the person who has thrown out the elderly house pets pictured above.

But you know what? This thing called Rescue also brings us new friends, trustworthy old friends, and a common bond of love for the heartbeats that count on us. And for those friends new and old, it sure is great to have you along on the journey. Thank you.


June 28, 2011

Jingle Jangle All The Way Home

Good old Jingle got adopted today! He came to us all skin and bones last December, and has waited patiently for the right family to come along. Today was the day. He ended up back in Botetourt County, but this time with a new collar, leash, bed, a whole bunch of love, and a family to call his own.

Many thanks to his guardian angel, Gina, for loving him and networking the heck out of him- you done good. Thank you also to Bobbie Patterson for making sure the transition went as smoothly as possible- we appreciate you ever so much. And as for you Jingle, enjoy your new life, buddy. Welcome home.

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one" 
~Jane Howard

Last Photo That Will Taken Behind Bars

Goldilocks is another dog saved by Botetourt Animal Control. She arrived with a mangled foot that would not heal, and eventually her leg had to be amputated.

Before and after the surgery, she was uncomfortable. She hated having anything put around her neck, and hated anyone reaching into her kennel to assist her. Needless to say, this made caring for her and getting her in and out for exercise and outside time very difficult.

Enter Angels of Assisi Vet Assistant Extraordinaire, Trish. This lady has a heart of gold and an endless smile,  matched up with an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience. She's got it all, and words cannot express how much we appreciate her.

I have walked into the Angels of Assisi clinic with many a neglected or abused animal, and Trish will say "Whatcha got there, Miss Lisa?" As soon as I see her a feeling of relief washes over me, because I know if anyone can make things better, it's Trish.

One such dog was so matted with hair that he could not even close his eyes, and was labeled with a Caution May Bite sign at the pound.

Trish took one look at him, snatched him up into a big old hug, sedated him, shaved him down, woke him up, and had him snug in a fresh bed within 20 minutes. I'm not sure who felt better- me, Trish, or the dog. Collectively we all called it a Darn  Good Day.

Fortunately for Goldilocks, Trish takes all the Assisi animals under her angel wing, and refused to give up on her. Slowly the pain inside and out started to heal, and her cautious but sweet personality started to shine through.

This last weekend a couple from Pennsylvania saw her story, and planned a weekend getaway to visit little Goldilocks. They met her on Saturday, took the night to talk it over and make sure they were ready for such a commitment, and picked her up on Sunday.

Yesterday we received the following email, and from the bottom of our hearts thank Trish and the Assisi staff for not only healing Goldilocks on the outside, but for starting the even more difficult and patient process of healing her on the inside. Because of you, what a life she has in front of her.

Dear Angels

We just wanted to let you know that Goldilocks made it to her new home in Pennsylvania.  We had a long ride, but had several stops for poop and pee which went well.  After almost five hours on the road, Goldie got sick at the very last corner before home.  What a trooper!

With her new home, Goldie gets a new name:  Abigail (Abby).  We wanted a Bible name of a courageous women who overcame difficult circumstances.  Abby, coming from an uncertain background and physical difficulties has shown great courage and determination.  “Abigail” just happens to mean “Source of Joy” which Goldie (Abby) certainly is.  She is very attentive, gentle, calm when with our other dog Max, a true joy to be around.

Abby explored her new home, going from room to room.  She also explored her new yard and creek, though she didn’t get into the water.  She has her first appointment with our family vet on Wednesday this week.

Thank you for your part in connecting us with Abby.  She’s a true source of joy!

Best wishes,

Bob and Cindy

June 27, 2011

Close To Home

The faces below are living out what may be their last days at the Roanoke Pound. You know, the place that does not allow volunteers or have open hours to encourage adoptions.

If you would like to see a dog, here is the link and general instructions:

This animal is currently at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection and is in danger of euthanasia. The Roanoke Valley SPCA does not have space for it at this time, but it is available for adoption. If you are interested in saving this dogs life by adopting, please contact Mary Marr at 540-339-9247 ext 202 with the animals ID number. Additionally, please note that all Animal Control dogs are viewable by appointment only. Before adoption, it will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and microchipped. 

Seems like these living, breathing, sentient beings could at least be listed as "he" or "she" instead of "it". 

Seems like they would benefit from a volunteer showing them kindness, taking them for a walk, and promoting them for foster or adoption. 

Seems like they would have a higher chance for adoption if there were open hours for the public to see the available (off of stray hold) dogs and cats. 

Speaking of cats, you have not seen any on Petfinder for a while. This is due to the fact that "with the onset of kitten season there are just too many right now"...  Huh? So the Roanoke Pound is not even giving our homeless cats and kittens one chance (via the internet) of being seen and saved. 

To date this year (January 1 - May 31) over 1000 cats were killed at the pound. 

1211 cats killed to be exact. 

329 cats were saved. 

That, my friends, is a kill rate of 73%. 

It is of utmost importance to note that we feel for the staff at the Roanoke Pound. They have to decide who stays and who goes, five days a week. How many times have we heard the old cliché, "we can't save them all"? Well, the staff at the Roanoke Pound is given little opportunity to save even a portion of them. 

Under the current policies, procedures, and leadership, innocent lives will continue to be lost, with little to no effort made at saving most of them. 

It is also worth mentioning that the existing leadership of the Roanoke pound is the same leadership that runs the Roanoke Valley SPCA, an organization that does a wonderful job of promoting adoptions, foster programs, and volunteers. Seems a bit oxymoronic that the pound animals cannot have the same.

"So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

We have been told by the municipalities that our elected officials are listening, that they are not apathetic to the animals in our community, and that they have heard us loud and clear. They have also told us that change is coming, including the implementation of volunteers. We are tremendously appreciative of their efforts , and say it can't be soon enough. 


June 26, 2011


Miss Kayla May is the new gal of the adoption center. Botetourt Animal Control has been keeping an eye on her for the last few weeks, and they have worked hard to help her owners keep her.

Sometimes life has a way of not going according to plan, and in Kayla May's best interest, a compromise was made for her to be surrendered to Angels of Assisi. She is already spayed, up to date on her shots, and micro-chipped. She's also well mannered and very sweet.

Thanks to the professionalism of the Botetourt Animal Control Officers and the realization of her owner that Kayla needed a better situation, this girl never ended up at the pound, where pit bulls have a low chance of survival. In essence, communication and compromise saved this girl's life, and we appreciate everyone involved. Well done.

"No one can whistle a symphony.  It takes a whole orchestra to play it" 
~H.E. Luccock


Kids Doing Good

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men"
 ~Frederick Douglass

Pippa came to Angels of Assisi from West Virginia. A good Samaritan found her, and after the proper hold time was up and no owner was to be found, contacted Angels of Assisi. She was determined that Pippa go to a no kill shelter, and made the long drive to bring her to 415 Campbell Avenue.

During her medical exam, it was discovered that she was heartworm positive, and treatment was started. Meanwhile, 11 year old Emily, a faithful volunteer, finally got the thumbs up from her grandmother that she could start looking for a dog to call her own.

Pippa and Emily hit it off right away, and Emily had already saved enough money for her adoption fee. Emily has been reading up on heartworm treatments, and understands how important it is to keep Pippa on her monthly prevention. She has also purchased a 6 month supply of meds, and had enough left over for a new collar and leash.

Many thanks to Emily for having a heart of gold. Not only has she given the Assisi adoption center animals much care and TLC, she has now given Pippa a second chance in life, and we think they are match made in heaven.

Emily's grandma will be there for guidance and support, and we know she must be very proud of Emily. We're proud of both of them, and so happy for the little dog from West Virginia.

June 22, 2011

And Another Cocoa Post, Because She Rocks

Have we mentioned how awesome this dog is? How she knows tricks, is incredibly smart, and has the most beautiful blue eyes? How she would really love to have a foster home? And how she is the best dog ever?

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive. 
~Gilda Radner


June 21, 2011

Time Line

Cocoa's Past
Part of a family, one that has taught her to sit, shake, and have good house manners- she is fully housetrained.

Somewhere along the line, she is put outside and left outside, tied on a short rope with only a barrel for shelter. This is where she was found trying her best to take care of 6 puppies.

She is rescued by Botetourt Animal Control and brought to Angels of Assisi. The puppies are started on special food; Cocoa is so thin we are worried they are not getting enough, if any, nutrition from her. Cocoa needs a break to clear up an infection and is also started on a special, high calorie food.

Cocoa At Present
Mama is gaining weight, and happy with her new digs in the back office, where it is cool and she has room to stretch. Most of her puppies are in foster care, and doing well. Cocoa likes to impress us with her intelligence and pretty blue eyes.

She likes us so much that she learns how to open the office door and come out for afternoon salutations.

She also lets us know how much she likes Sun Chips and playing tug of war. (She'd like more Sun Chips and less special diet, but wouldn't we all?)

Cocoa's Future
She is up for adoption, and we are confident that her story will come full circle- that she will be back with a family who asks her to sit, shake, and use her good house manners- meaning she will be an inside dog and no longer depend on a rain barrel for protection.

A family that will definitely play some tug of war, and may even slip her a Sun Chip now and then.


Some of us tell the Angels of Assisi Rescue Stories in long winded blog posts, others are able to capture the time line of a dog in a single snapshot. Vickie Holt has captured Cocoa's story in the photo below, and a picture certainly can tell a thousand words. Past, Present, and trusting in the Future.

June 20, 2011

Foster Home Needed

Anita is a wonderful beagle rescued by Botetourt Animal Control. She is quiet and sweet, and will follow you around and be grateful for any amount of attention you can spare. She's also in renal failure, and needs a hospice home to provide a safe haven to live out her remaining days. Our goal is to keep her comfortable and part of a family- please call 400-2233 if you can help.


A special thank you to GRREAT Golden Retriever Rescue for taking another Botetourt Biscuit. This elderly sweetheart was rescued by Botetourt Animal Control, and she arrived at Angels of Assisi with some some pretty significant health issues.

The good folks at GRREAT have always come through for us, no matter a dog's age, medical condition, or even if he or she needs hospice care. We appreciate them very much, and wish our girl the best. ♥



Is it a a bat? Nope.

Is it a monkey? Nope.

Is it a digitally enhanced and color saturated photo that makes her look like she has more hair than she really does? Nope!

It's Pumpkin! Looking and feeling ever so much better!

Extensive lab tests have shown that her thyroid is actually functioning well. She remains on eye drops and a special diet, and is enjoying life at the O'Neill house.

The little dog who could not walk on her own is now able to go and down steps and play for short bouts of time with the other dogs.

She'll answer to a variety of names, including The Pump, Pumpinator, Pumpy Brewster, Pump Up The Jam, and Pump Dity Pump. What she has responded to most of all is basic care and TLC. In return, she's brought me a new perspective and determination to continue fighting for good. Dogs at our local pound should never be allowed to suffer.

Rock on little Pumpkin. I'm proud of you, and we're not done working for the others. Not even close.


June 14, 2011

Heart and Soul

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive"  ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

The clinic staff at Angels of Assisi- these are the awesome people responsible for over 500 spay and neuter surgeries a month, hundreds of well pet visits, heart worm checks, nail trims, rabies vaccinations, treatments for ear mites, respiratory infections, and, above all, teaching the community the best way to care for our pets.

They also teach Veterinary students how to do the same, handle all the animals in the adoption center and keep track of over 100 animals in foster care. These are some of the tremendous duties that fall under their job description.

What we appreciate so much are the tasks that they perform above and beyond the daily routine. How they roll up their sleeves when we literally carry in abused and neglected animals, how they get the clippers out to shave off matted and painful hair. How they come in on evenings and Sundays to care for sick and injured animals that typically would not find shelter at a spay and neuter clinic, but can and do at Angels of Assisi. And most importantly, how they do all this with expertise and compassion. They are passionate about the work they do, and they do it well.

You all are the heart and soul of Angels of Assisi, and because of you, hearts and souls continue. Keep up the good work.

"Follow your passion, and success will follow you"
~Terri Guillemets


Foster Home Needed

Another job well done by Botetourt Animal Control officers last weekend. They brought this mama and her babies to Angels of Assisi after finding her tied in the heat with only a rain barrel for shelter. Mama is very thin and had to be started on antibiotics, but has done a remakable job with her babies and is on the road to recovery.

Since the puppies are starting to eat on their own, they can go foster individually. We will provide food and crates, you provide the TLC! Please contact us if you can help...


June 13, 2011

Clinic Cuties

Sweet Karma came in for her spay surgery today, and is home and doing well.

Karma is a beagle, bloodhound mix, and a delightful combination of loose skin, long, awkward legs, an inquisitive mind, and lover of all de-stuffed toys, especially when she is carrying them mouth to mouth with her best beagle sister.

This girl, in her own quiet, unassuming way, has brought much joy to her adoptive family, and made them complete. Although she was found and saved as a tiny baby (who knew she would grow so?) by Botetourt Animal Control, she has never known anything but love, companionship, and joy.

A special thank you to her adoptive mom, who has not only provided Karma with a safe haven, but helped countless others find their way home as well. And there is nothing better than that.  

"Peace - that was the other name for home"
~Kathleen Norris


June 8, 2011

2 For The Show

A huge thank you to foster mama's Wendy and Tina for going to the Roanoke pound and pulling these 2 sweethearts today. Word has it the pound is overflowing and full, so if you are able to adopt or foster, please visit their petfinder page here

These lucky dogs will be coming in for spay/neuter, shots, and microchips soon, then be ready for adoption ♥

Thank you, Wendy and Tina, for saving their lives. We appreciate you beyond words.


June 7, 2011

Limbo No More

Buster is also one the Bedford Rescue dogs; he was released to Angels of Assisi yesterday, and is SO ready for adoption!

He is a very special boy, and under Bobbie's watchful eye and training, Buster has done really well. He can sit, stay, and walk nicely on a leash.  He is seriously ready to get on with this thing called life, so please help spread the word that he is seeing potential families everyday between 2 and 6 pm ♥


Ready For A Break

Yesterday, Angels of Assisi staff attended the court case for the 100+ animals that were seized from the Bedford area last fall. The decision was made for our adoption center to continue to hold 2 of the dogs and give the previous owner time to comply with new court orders.

There are many passionate views on either side of this case. Our position at Angels of Assisi is not to take any sides or make judgments of this situation, but to follow the professional mandates that were carefully weighed and issued.

We do, however, have a responsibility to the heartbeats in our building who are in this position through no fault of their own. We are grateful that the court has agreed and encouraged that the 2 dogs can go to foster homes. These dogs have been with us for over 8 months, and they need a break.

I know it is asking a lot- someone to open their hearts and their homes to foster a dog that may have to go back. The bottom line is this: the dogs came from a situation that was bad enough to be seized. They have been in a shelter environment for over 250 days. It is summer, a time for fun and play, and they would love to have a family and chance to decompress.

Annie is a sweetheart of a girl and loves to be with people and play ball.

Benji is timid and scared. Once he gets to know you, he warms up and appreciates every bit of affection he can get.

Looking at his guarded face and scared posture, you have to wonder what he was like as a bouncing, carefree puppy, and what life events led to the dog he is now. With some time, TLC, and patience, we think he can get to the point of enjoying life again. And we need your help to get him there.


A special, special thank you for the kindness, competence, and compassion of the Bedford County Animal Control Officers. They go above and beyond for the animals trusted in their care everyday.

June 3, 2011


Edna came in as a stray from Botetourt County. She had been tied to a tree and was out in the hot sun for hours, and arrived dehydrated and in heat stroke. She is now feeling better, but recent lab work shows she is in kidney failure. The medical staff believe she has a few months left to live, and would love to find her a home to spend her last days.

Edna is crate trained and easy to get along with. She does not ask for much, but enjoys every bit attention we can give her. If you can help with this senior gal, please contact Lisa at or 400-2233.



These 2 sweet boys were rescued from a puppy mill last week. They are coming around nicely, and really, really, really want to be with people, but are not quite sure if they can trust us yet. 

Fortunately, they will be going home together this weekend, and will be given all the time, patience, and TLC that they need and deserve.

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough.  
~Frank Crane


Hung With Care

Tomorrow is a big day for Angels of Assisi- Woofstock and our first ever bowling fundraiser* (thank you Chris and Tina!!).

Volunteers have been busy getting ready, and are hopeful some of our long term big dogs will find new homes! Sarah has bathed everyone going to the event, and readied collars, leashes, and spiffy bandanas.

Thank you to all who who have helped already, and thank you to those putting in some serious hard work tomorrow- we appreciate you!


AMF Bowling Centers
5918 Williamson Road
Roanoke, VA
1-5 pm- lots of fun and prizes! 

June 1, 2011


June is adopt a cat month! So.... for the next 30 days all cats over a year old are "pick your adoption fee". Kittens are $75 each, or 2 for $100.

All felines are spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, and microchipped. And what the heck, to toss in some good luck, all black cats are free! Simply because they make wonderful pets and deserve a chance to get out of the shelter as much as anyone else. Open 2-6 everyday!

More Biscuit Love

Goldilocks was also brought to Angels of Assisi by Botetourt Animal Control. She was thin, scared, and had a mangled foot that we believe may have been caught in a trap.

Since she was uncomfortable and not healing properly, Dr. Spangler had to amputate her leg. Since the surgery, she is feeling much better, but would love to have a foster home where she can recuperate quietly. Goldilocks is a little skittish and shy, but can easily be won over with treats ♥  She also likes to go outside, and once she warms up to you, will make a wonderful and grateful companion.

Hope is patience with the lamp lit.