February 27, 2012

Heading Out

In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.
-Warren Buffett

We're off to Richmond, to support SB 359, a bill designed to permit more wide-scale trap, neuter, return (TNR) efforts by SPCAs, Humane Societies and Pounds to reduce feral cat populations in communities throughout our Commonwealth.

Today is dedicated to the cats housed at the Roanoke Pound. We can't go back and save the thousands who have been killed right here in our own beautiful city, but we can be a voice for the ones who are here now, and shown below.

We'll also be thinking about our friends Chelsea, Diane, Margot, Betty, Ken, Thelma, Blair, Nicole, Tina, Chris, Wendy, and many others who go above and beyond for the felines.


This wonderful photo was taken by RCACP volunteers Teresa and Madeline.

Every Saturday, dedicated volunteers show up at the Roanoke pound to photograph the homeless animals and bring their stories to light, in an outstanding effort to save their lives. It's working; the number of animals walking out of the pound alive has increased tremendously since the volunteer program started.

Not that it's up to us, but we would title this photo 'Shielded".  Little does this precious dog named Sheena know, that while Madeline is physically protecting her the high winds, she is more so saving her from becoming a dismal statistic.

A special thank you to all the RCACP volunteers. It's not easy seeing animals who are in jeopardy of losing their lives. Thank you for walking them, for buying toys for them, for transporting them to safety, for networking them, for photographing them. More than anything, we thank you for showing the world how wonderful they are.


February 26, 2012


The above photo was from a 'Lost Dog" posting on Craig's List.

Turns out, Duchess had been found by a good Samaritan, and brought to Angels of Assisi. While on her documented stray hold, a volunteer recognized her from the photo on Craig s List. Phone calls were made, tears of happiness shed, and a reunion followed shortly after.

Once again, networking works, and we are so proud of the people in our community who work together for the animals. You done good!

February 23, 2012

Be The Voice- Road Trip Anyone?

 Want to make a difference for the animals in Virginia? Now is the time.

See the below email from Susanne Susanne Kogut, ED of the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA about SB 359. 

In a nutshell, we are advocating for the right to sterilize and vaccinate feral cats. Please contact us if you would like to make a road trip to Richmond on Monday. 

Hello everyone:

First thank you all for your patience and as always thank you for your support and help to assist in the passage of SB 359. It is very exciting to see everyone come together. Here is where we are and the game plan going forward:

WE NEED ALL OF YOU -- SB 359 will be heard by the House Ag Sub-Committee this upcoming MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27th at 5pm (in the 5th Floor East Conference Room). Right now it does not appear that we have the votes to pass this bill, so the hearing is incredibly IMPORTANT. We need as many people in the room in support of the bill as possible. There is a good chance the Committee will limit discussion on the bill; however, we need to have everyone stand-up say their name, their position, their jurisdiction and that they support the bill. Please, Please do whatever you can to be at this hearing. It is only one day of your time, that could really benefit the feral cats in Virginia. Also please email me if you can attend the hearing.
Prior to Monday – we need emails to the following Delegates from people in their jurisdictions. Please help us get people to write in. Send personal emails asking people to write in, make phone calls to people in these jurisdictions and ask them to write in support of the bill. The first 4 Delegates are likely No votes right now. We need to change their vote. The last three are possible Yes, but Definitely not confirmed, so they need to be encouraged to support SB 359. An Attachment called Why Support SB 359 will follow shortly.
Delegate Knight – Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
Delegate Marshall (Chair) – Danville, Henry, Pittsylvania
Delegate Orrock – Caroline and Spotsylvania Counties
Delegate Poindexter – Franklin County and Henry County
Delegate Moorefield – Buchanan, Tazwell, Russell
Delegate James – Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Portsmouth
Delegate Sickles – Fairfax County


Susanne M. Kogut
Executive Director
Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA
(434) 964-3323

February 16, 2012


Several years ago, Merry was being transported from a high kill shelter in South Carolina to a rescue group in New York. Somewhere a long the way, wires got crossed, and she was never picked up from her overnight stay in between.

So, she made her way to Angels of Assisi. She turned out to be heartworm positive, and had a few other issues; mainly it was difficult to keep up with her high energy level. Eventually the heartworms were completely gone, and we learned that getting her energy under control was crucial to her mental and overall well being. She turned out to be awesome on hikes, and even made her way to McAfee's knob.

Merry was adopted to a wonderful home, and her new dad recently sent us this email:

Well, it’s been just over a year since we adopted Merry and we couldn’t be happier!
Why no one ever adopted her is a daily mystery to us…she has the sweetest and most loving personality of any dog I’ve ever owned and has brought nothing but joy into our home. Thank you, Angels of Assisi, for what you do!

Merry looks absolutely wonderful, and content in her new home. Once again, faith is renewed that there is indeed a someone for everyone.

An Early Spring Cleaning

February 15, 2012

Action Alert For Cats

In 2011, 70% of all cats that entered the Roanoke Pound were killed.

There is some important legislation that help decrease these numbers, and the animals need your voice. Please see the information from Best Friends below; it will only take 2 minutes to be heard loud and clear.

Please urge delegates to vote YES for TNR
Thank you for lending your voice to the cats last month! Thanks to the response of concerned Virginia residents like you, Senate Bill 359 — legislation that would enable local governments and organizations to reduce the community cat population through organized trap/neuter/return (TNR) efforts — successfully passed out of the Senate. Now the bill has moved forward to the House of Delegates, and your help is needed again. 

Could you spare a few minutes to visit Best Friends’ Animal Advocacy Center and urge your delegates to vote YES for TNR?

As you know, trap/neuter/return is an effective, humane way to control community cat populations. TNR also significantly reduces the number of cats entering municipal animal shelters, saving lives as well as taxpayer dollars. And by spaying, neutering and vaccinating community cats, these programs help promote public health, too.
SB 359 allows for the spaying and neutering of homeless cats who are part of a formal TNR program operated by a pound, shelter, humane society or other releasing agency. This legislation also protects people who participate in this invaluable public service by clarifying that they are not owners of community cats simply because they compassionately help homeless pets.

With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can help save lives by supporting this humane alternative for controlling free-roaming cat populations. It only takes a few minutes to send a personalized email to members of the House of Delegates’ Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee, who are currently considering this responsible legislation. 
Please click here to visit Best Friends Animal Advocacy Center to learn more and take action today!

Thank you for speaking up to protect the animals. Each act of kindness brings us one step closer to No More Homeless Pets®.

Formal Introductions


The adoption center is open from 2pm - 6pm everyday! 
You can also visit us on-line:

February 11, 2012

Minute By Minute

To all who have graciously given to the Biscuit Fund, here is another example of your donations at work.

This old gal was found in someone's backyard fish pond, and she was unable to get out. She has spent the last few days at a Vet's office, receiving IV fluids and wound care for a tumor on her leg.

Today, she was transferred to the care of Angels of Assisi. While eating and drinking on her own, she is unable to stand by herself, but we are told she is stronger than she was. She is resting in foster care, and will possibly have surgery on the tumor early next week. 

Animal Control Officer Rhonda Armsworthy did an outstanding job in making sure she was safe, sound, and received proper medical care, and we are very grateful for her efforts.

This dog's story is not over, but still uncertain. Sometimes in life you take it one day at a time; when that is too hard, you take it one minute at a time. In this particular moment, she's ready for a home cooked meal, and enjoying a warm bed and rest. And for now, that's enough.


February 9, 2012


This was Karma back in December, bewildered and terrified at the pound. During her stay there she was so shut down that she actually had to be carried from her kennel at times.

She got networked, and a really nice lady named Amanda offered her a place to heal, a foster home. It worked. Karma is much better, and Amanda has decided she can't let her go. What a difference a home makes. Thank you to all who have opened up yours to other pets needing a place to feel safe and loved. See that smile? It's for you.

Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.  
~Mother Teresa

February 5, 2012

A Collective Heartmelt

Operation Bedford Rescue should be complete today. We are receiving 12-18 dogs from a single residence; the first 6 arrived Friday, and the rest are on the way now. Pretty dang cute, no?

Besides being in serious need of a bath, the pooches are in pretty good shape. As always, it was a pleasure working with Bedford Animal Control. Many thanks to Sarah and Rick for the transport help; we are so lucky to have folks with your knowledge and expertise as volunteers.

Tony and Crystal from County Pet Grooming spent the entire day grooming them yesterday, and will be back for the second group today. Add in Amanda's extra help, and things are well under control. Thanks to all for being part of a most awesome village.

February 4, 2012

Just One Day

There are many ways to answer that question.

A day is 24 hours. A day is how we measure how much time we spend at work. A day can be something we look forward to, a celebration of some kind. But in U.S. animal shelters, a day represents 10,411 lives needlessly lost.

To most people, June 11 is Just One Day. But, June 11 is a day that could change everything for 10,411 companion animals, and a day that can change the world. On June 11, 2012, we could be a No Kill nation.

We are asking animal shelters across the USA to take a pledge not to kill any savable animals on June 11, 2012. For Just One Day, "Euthanasia Technicians" will put down their syringes and pick up cameras. Instead of injecting animals with lethal doses of sodium pentobarbital, they will photograph them and post them on the Internet, on Facebook, on twitter. On June 11, 2012, they will market their animals to the public, they will reach out to rescue groups, they will host adoption events with discounted rates, they will stay open for extended hours, and they will ask their communities to help them empty the shelter the good way.

Instead of going into body bags in freezers, the animals will go out the front door in the loving arms of families. At the end of the day, the shelters will be emptier than when the day started. And, no one will have had to die in order to make that happen. To help them succeed, the No Kill Advocacy Center, Animal Ark and Animal Wise Radio are teaming up to offer shelters the tools they need to be successful. 

We have a model press release and promotion plan. We have a guide to adopting your way out of killing. We have adoption promotion posters. And so much more, all sent free of charge to those organizations that take the pledge. 

On average, if each animal shelter in the USA adopts out or transferres to rescue groups an extra three animals on June 11, the USA can become a no kill nation, even if it is for Just One Day. And if we can do it then, we can also do it on June 12 for Just Another Day. . . 


February 3, 2012

Update On Chelsea Biscuit

Chelsea is the sweet little kitty brought in by Botetourt Animal Control. Her front leg is broken in 3 places, and needs some major surgery.

A little networking by our friend Diane Novak, and this girl is all set. Yvette, a guardian angel here on earth, is sponsoring her surgery, and Chelsea will get to keep her leg.

We've been saying it all week, but once again, thank you. The kindness of friends and strangers shown to the animals in our community is very overwhelming and heart lifting, and we are grateful for you all.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.  
~G.K. Chesterton


Did we mention it has been quite week for the Biscuits? Here is the latest from today. This dog was found in a rural area, with the number 25 spray painted on his side. Yes, stuff like this actually happens.

Pardon the blurry cell phone photos, but you get the drift.

Animal control in the area has been notified, and he is safely in a foster home today. Number 25 has an appointment with the Angels of Assisi wellness clinic on Monday, and we bet that by then he will have a new name as well.

February 2, 2012

Biscuit Meet And Greet

The outpouring of love for the new Biscuits has been overwhelming, with many people asking to visit them. Sounds like a good idea to us! They're always up for some TLC, and it's obvious that folks in the Roanoke Valley have a lot to give.

Come on down to Angels of Assisi this Sunday, between 4 pm and 6 pm. You are welcome to bring them toys or sweaters (but we still have to be careful with treats). As always, we appreciate your support :)

Come live in my heart, and pay no rent.  
~Samuel Lover


Helpful Chart For Staff and Volunteers

A helpful chart for all you photographers and bio writers out there.

Reflections On Amos

The loss of Amos yesterday was a hard one. The emaciated hound dog with soulful eyes
deserved more.

He deserved to live.
He deserved to feel better. 
He deserved a family.
He deserved to have the person who did that to him be punished.

Heartbreaking as it is, he did not get the first three, and he may not get the fourth either. Amos was bought a week ago by a 16 year old kid. Did he get into the awful shape he was in within that week? No. Botetourt Animal Control is trying very hard, but having difficulty tracing where Amos originally came from, and who is responsible for his poor condition. 

And now, Amos is gone. He will not get the "before and after" photos. He will not get the facebook posting showcasing his adoption. He may not get the court case bringing his former owner to justice.

Amos did not receive any of those things, but he did receive an outpouring of love and support for the few short days he was in our building. He got car rides where he could look out the window. He got a sponge bath. He was walked, and brought back to the safety of the building when it was discovered he was scared of traffic. He had people curl up next to him. He had people sit with him. He was loved.

To help make sense of it all, we need to wrap our minds and hearts around what Amos gave us in return.

He united people from as far away as California and New Jersey who donated to the Biscuit Fund. By the pure volume of the phone, text, and facebook messages pouring in yesterday, he proved to us that the good people in this world outweigh the bad ones. He gave us determination to keep being the voice for those who have none. In his honor, we will speak up for neglected animals in our neighborhoods and in our pounds. Because of him, we trust that the resources to take care of sick and abused animals will be there if needed. He touched our hearts, and solidified the strength of those in the rescue world. Amos made us closer and stronger.

But above all, he reached some kids in our community. You know, the ones who will be responsible for this world after we are gone. Anyone see the rainbow in Roanoke yesterday morning? According to Christy Gorth's little girl, it was the one welcoming Amos over The Bridge.

We'll slowly let him go, cherish his memory, and keep on being a voice for the others behind him.
Our time with Amos was short, but he sure did teach us a lot. Sometimes, Justice is reached in alternate ways, and this may be one of them.


February 1, 2012

Room At The Inn

This 10 week old puppy arrived in the Angels of Assisi lobby this afternoon, after being attacked by another dog. She was signed over to our care, and is being assessed for a broken jaw now.

Not sure what is in the air this week, but it's been a big one for the Biscuits.



Biscuit Update

Romeo is eating small meals throughout the day, napping, looking cute, and winning us over more and more. His spirit is calm and loving, and it hurts to seem him patiently waiting for his next meal. We still have to go very slow with feeding as his body adjusts.

Under her fur, this new little kitty is pretty darn thin too. She has also received IV fluids, special food, and a timed eating schedule. A big shout out to Roanoke County Animal Control for bringing her to Angels of Assisi for medical care, it has been awesome to work with you.

Thank you all for your support these last few days. We're feeling the love, and passing it on to those that need it most.

Gone But Never Forgotten

We lost Amos this morning. His large intestine was twisted, a very serious condition. Dr. Krauss and Dr. Spangler agreed that it could have been from a belly full of parasites, lack of food, something he ate, like a rock, or a combination of all. Due to his poor body weight, surgery was risky, but necessary.

Amos came back from the Emergency Vet this morning, and was re-started on IV fluids and plasma. When Dr. Spangler and the Assisi staff opened him up, his insides looked worse than his bony outsides, and eventually it was time to let him go. Damn.

Where to Bury A Dog 

There is one best place to bury a dog. One place that is best of all. 

If you bury him in this spot, the secret of which you must already have, he will come to you when you call -- come to you over the grim, dim frontiers of death, and down the well-remembered path, and to your side again. 

And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel they should not growl at him, nor resent his coming, for he is yours and he belongs there. 

People may scoff at you, who see no lightest blade of grass bent by his footfall, who hear no whimper pitched too fine for mere audition, people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them then, for you shall know something that is hidden from them, and which is well worth the knowing. 

The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master. 

Ben Hur Lampman


For the last several days, we were all the master of this neglected and abused dog. We wish it had been longer, but all we can do now is bury him deep in our hearts, and turn that love and sorrow into determination to stop this from happening to others. We'll carry on the good fight for you, Amos. Rest in peace, buddy.