October 31, 2011

Addressing The Elephant

This past weekend, the Roanoke No Kill Coalition held a peaceful rally for the animals that are housed at the Roanoke Pound (RCACP).

Here are some facts:

  • While wholeheartedly supporting the event, Angels of Assisi did not initiate the event.
  • A few Angels of Assisi employees and volunteers helped plan / attended the event. 
  • Many other community members not associated with Angel of Assisi also helped plan / attended the event. 
  • The rally was held to increase community awareness of the high kill rate at the RCACP, the need for volunteers at the RCACP,. the lack of exercise, socialization, and medical treatment given to the animals at the RCACP. 

We at Angels of Assisi applaud the efforts of these caring community members. There were photographers, groomers, singers, nurses, teachers, computer technicians, moms, dads, and kids represented. All with one heart for the homeless animals in the building down the road from the rally.

In their free time, these good folks foster, adopt, transport, email, and network animals. And they want to do it more. They want to rescue them from the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection, and we do too.

The staff at RCACP has been very helpful, and it must be hard for them to see the numbers and photos circulate. They are also trying to save the animals, and through it all remain professional and cheerful when we call or email with questions about specific pets, and we appreciate them very much.

The road to change is rarely easy, especially when the leaders are not paving the way. But we're getting closer, and we can do this.

Thank you to all who came out last Saturday. You have our support and utmost respect. Angels of Assisi is behind the Roanoke No Kill Coalition and it's members 110%; always has been, always will be. Hope to see you again soon.


Kindred Spirits

How many of us as kids brought home a stray animal? Finding one was almost magical, and the joy of carrying that precious cargo home was mixed with a solid determination to talk The Parents into keeping it.

I grew up in late 1970's in the suburbs of Chicago, possibly before they were actually called suburbs. County roads quickly turned from dirt to pavement, and houses popped up almost overnight in the middle of soybean fields. That meant one thing to us kids- lots of extra lumbar and building supplies at hand to use for forts.

One afternoon while running the neighborhood, I found a dog. OK, not even a dog-dog, but the most beautiful German Shepherd on the planet. It was very hard to find a name that would do her justice, but I settled on Princess. Kind of dreading the The Parent Plea (those usually did not go my way), my friends and I fixed her an awesome fort of her own. We dug out a big hole, and cut down tall grasses to line it with. Not just any tall grass, mind you, but the kind that has gone to seed - we figured those fluffy ends would add cushion and a bit of style.

To the cushy and stylish hole, we found lumber and constructed a shield that protected her from the wind, and our Princess abode was complete. We faithfully kept her water fresh and fed her 2 times a day. In return she ran, played and swam with us. When we were tired, she dropped down in the empty fields and watched the clouds with us. When we had to go home, she actually stayed in her makeshift dog house and waited for us. She was our best friend.

Days turned to weeks, and still no Parent Pleas had happened. You see, I had a secret weapon- my Uncle Norm was coming for a visit. To those who do not know, Norm Mason, founder of Angels of Assisi, is my uncle. In him I had a steadfast and reliable animal advocate. On his visits, he was the one who built me bunny hutches, loved my guinea pigs, and gave us our family pet, a beagle named Missy.

On Uncle Norm's big arrival day, we proudly brought Princess home. My mother was all "we are not having any more dogs in this house!" while Uncle Norm said "Now, now Bev, let's get a good look at her" and then thoroughly agreed that Princess was the best thing ever.

To keep the peace, we took her back to the fort, and gave Norm a few days to work his magic. I remember leaning over the vent in my bedroom so I could hear him talking to my mother, his sister. "Come on Bev, it's just a dog, and a nice one at that."

During the visit, I did my chores like crazy, and even practiced the piano without being told. All this to soften up the Parents into getting Princess. I actually hated playing the piano, and had been taking lessons for years. I remember Norm watching me thoughtfully, then going to ask my mother why in the world she was wasting her good money making me play, because I really was not that good. She responded that maybe he was right, and I could stop lessons anytime. I hopped away from the dreaded piano in delight thinking "My god! He really is a miracle worker! Free at last!!"

We worked on easing Princess into the house, but like all good things, Uncle Norm's visit had to end. And so did the Princess era. My dad ended up finding her a home through work, and that was the end of that.

To this day, Norm continues to be a steadfast and reliable animal advocate. Can we do a bunny rescue with around 65 rabbits with mange? Yes. Can we take in 103 dogs and cats from a double wide trailer tomorrow? Yes. Can we take a baby cow still drinking from a bottle? Yes. Can we take a blind old sheep? Yes.

In fact, it was not that long ago that Norm was at Harmony Farm Sanctuary building yet another new bunny hutch. He still likes guinea pigs (ask my daughter), and he is responsible for many a family getting new pets - over 5000 actually.

And the best thing about Norm? He'll hate it that I gave him one ounce of credit for any of this. But for me and the animals in our community, he's working that magic through hard work and creative ideas that have saved the lives of many.

Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. 
~Washington Irving


Halloween Cat Special!

It is impossible for a lover of cats to banish these alert, gentle, and discriminating little friends, who give us just enough of their regard and complaisance to make us hunger for more. 
~Agnes Repplier

Halloween Special today!!

Orange cats-     $20
Orange kittens- $40

Click here for a complete list of the adorable faces waiting!

The adoption center is open from 2pm - 6pm this afternoon- hope to see you then!


Picked up as a stray, this gentle giant made his way to Angels of Assisi last week. Botetourt Animal Control brought him to us for an immediate medical evaluation, and to get him started on the road to recovery.

So far, consistent meals on raised food bowls and a big bed have done him wonders, and we are all half in love with him. A great big shout out to the good Animal Control Officers taking care of the animals in Botetourt - we think you are the best!

Sampson thinks you're pretty cool too.

As always, thank you to Vickie Holt for the awesome photos

October 23, 2011

Moving Mountains

"It appears she has been on the streets trying desperately to take care of herself and not doing such a good job.  My hope is to give her more time because she is not that old....just an old soul and worn out"

These are the words of Goldie's foster mom, Toni. Goldie came to us from a high kill shelter needing a safe place to rest her weary bones, and she's found it. 

What a difference a bath, some good food, and an abundance of love can make. To each and every foster home in the Angels of Assisi family, we are eternally grateful for the work and TLC you pour into the animals that fill your homes and hearts.

The best people in the world don't shout their good deeds from the tops of mountains, but instead move them diligently and lovingly in their own place and time. For animals like Goldie, you continue to make all the difference in the world, and for that, we love and respect so very much.

October 20, 2011

The Hipster

Hippo was adopted from Angels of Assisi last year. He was born under a porch and a lil' on the wild side, but foster mama Wendy tamed him right down, and now take a look at him!

His new family sent us this note:


I adopted a Russian blue mix (Hippo) about a year ago, and I just wanted to thank you for bringing this perfect (though a little crazy) cat into our lives. He is the most loving cat that we have ever had and he makes me laugh every day! 

He is definitely more dog than cat - he greets me at the door, hugs me with his webbed feet and is a love-bug. (He did eat a Christmas ribbon last year and had to have  emergency surgery to remove a 32" ribbon from his intestines, but otherwise, he has been perfect!) Thanks so much for enriching our lives!

October 19, 2011

Au Revoir et Salut

Benji was one of 103 animals rescued from a single house last fall, and he was the most timid of all the dogs. Patty, a wonderful Angels of Assisi volunteer, has spent a lot of time with him, coaxing him out of his kennel, sitting with him, talking to him, and taking him for walks. She is his bud, and one of the few people he has ever trusted. Yesterday she had the bittersweet job of saying good-bye, as Benji went home.

Benji Biscuit, we wish you well, buddy. You did not deserve one thing that happened to you, and you did not deserve to spend a year of your life in the adoption center. Your new home has a big yard and a soft bed, and you'll be happy. Thank you for patiently waiting for this day to come. And thank you to Patty for making the wait so much easier.

We appreciate each and every volunteer who comes in to the adoption center and works with our dogs and cats. You bring them life and a sense of hope, and you are absolutely making a difference.

Don't be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.  
~Richard Bach


Last week, volunteers from Bedford Humane Society, Franklin County Humane Society, and Solstice Sanctuary joined forces to rescue a little sheep, now named Angel.

This was not just any sheep, but one abandoned at the now closed Holy Land USA in Bedford County. Apparently, they moved, and left this little gal behind. She's been on her own for a quite a while, and she's blind.

 Angel's shelter 

And the rescue begins...


In the van :)

 Arriving at Harmony

Safe and sound 

Angel is scheduled for a much needed hair cut, and will live out her remaining years at Harmony Farm Sanctuary surrounded by other animals and people who love her. 

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to save this girl. Sometimes the very best fellowship, praise, and renewal of the soul does not happen within the structures formed to facilitate worship, but instead with arms thrown over shoulders, and hearts linked together for a common good.

October 18, 2011

Growing Up

Southeast German Shepard Rescue is taking great care of Kinley, and she loves her foster home. We appreciate every person who has helped her along the way so very much ♥


Pet of The Week

Thank you to WSLS and Daytime Blue Ridge for featuring an Angels of Assisi Pet of the Week each Monday! The hosts of the show, Natalie and Mike, are awesome,
Amber from Angels of Assisi holds her own pretty darn well too, but good old Lucky stole the show.

October 13, 2011


Julie, Julie, Julie. Where to start...

Julie caught the heart of Angels of Assisi volunteer Jamie last year. She was at a high kill pound in southern Virginia with only a few days left before being killed. Could Assisi please, please, please! take her? And since Jamie is, well, Jamie- dedicated to the animals in her heart- we said sure. Send her on up.

The little pit bull terrier bounded into the clinic and adoption center, and never really stopped bounding the entire time she spent with us. She is a bundle of energy, and volunteers and staff worked hard to channel that energy in the right direction.

This involved keeping her away from most of the other other dogs in the adoption center, except for a few that she got along with. Jamie and Sarah, some of our most devoted dog walkers, worked with Julie and took her on long hikes- she loved every minute, and the energy continued to pour out of her.

I will always remember Julie as she looked when you went through the kennels to get to her run. She was in the very last one on the right side, and as you walk through, all the dogs will give a shout out and look for a treat. Julie was the only one who sat perfectly still, her head completely cocked to the right side, and you could tell she was sizing you up:  "Whatcha here for? Is it me? Are we going somewhere? Because let me tell you, I Am Ready!!"

A few weeks ago, Tammy of Angels of Assisi made a connection with the Virginia State Police, and learned that pit bulls are becoming more and more useful in the drug detection program. She invited them to come take a look at our dogs, and the meeting went well.

We learned that they look for dogs with high energy (Julie). We learned that they look for dogs with a high drive to play and seek out toys (Julie). We learned that it does not matter if the dogs get along with every other dog (Julie). We learned that they look for dogs that need a job (Julie).

After meeting (Julie), they agreed that she just may fit the bill. And so, the girl that is always ready for anything, left for training. She got a bath, a serious pep talk, and bounded out the same door she bounded into last year. We know she will bound into training and a her new job with full enthusiasm, and with all our hearts wish her well.

Thank you to Jamie, Bobbie, and Sarah for teaching her basic commands- that increased her chances of getting into the program tremendously. Thank you to Tammy for always thinking of ways to improve the lives of the animals in our community. Thank you to all who embraced the little pit bull who had her moments, but believed in her no matter what.

I will always keep Julie's readiness to take on anything and anyone in my heart. Go get 'em girl. We are so proud of you.

Put a grain of boldness into everything you do. 
~Baltasar Gracian


October 8, 2011


Kinley, also know as Sunshine, is heading out to Southeast German Shepard Rescue today! She came in with a bad front leg that was infected and had to be amputated. This girl can't be stopped though, and is the sweetest puppy ever.

A big thank you to Teresa and Jamie for getting her to Angels of Assisi, to Robin for fostering her before and after surgery, to Gina for making the rescue connection, to Frances for getting the paperwork done, and to Southeast German Shepard Rescue for taking her in. Sometimes it just does take a village, no? We like to call it a caring and responsible community- well done ladies!

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.  
~Buddhist Saying

October 7, 2011


Albert. Blind. Been at the Roanoke pound for over a month. And he's on his way to a new foster home. Safe. And all are happy.

Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around. 
~E.L. Konigsburg

October 3, 2011

Transfers Available

This just in from the Pittsylvania County pound: 
Ready 10-4-2011. X Hound, Female, 1-3 yrs., Blk/Tn, 45 lbs. 
She has 7 pups (5 Females/2 Males) 8 days old as of today


And yes, those are her one week old puppies.

Seriously, this mama dog and her babies need out of the pound. If you can provide a foster home, please email Anita at or Lisa at

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  
~Anne Lamott


Grace was saved from the Roanoke pound last week. Her intake photo was pretty horrible, but she did gain weight during her stay there and came out a bouncing ball of energy.

Here is Grace over the weekend at her new foster home. A special thank you to Leanna for picking her up, and Bobbie and Dr. Spangler for getting her medical check done at Angels of Assisi. But the biggest thank you goes to her new foster mom, Teresa, for all the dedication and love put into saving Grace. Your efforts are very much appreciated ♥