March 31, 2012

Family Ties

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, 

I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the being who has nothing to eat.
~ Mother Teresa

Meet number the Roanoke Pound, brought in as a stray in early February. She was exposed to parvo early in her stay, and had to be quarantined in an isolation room. Per the existing policies in place, she did not get her photo posted on any internet site, she was not allowed visitors, and she was not allowed outside.

She did, however, have some very special friends in the form of RCACP volunteers. You see, there is this little but powerful thing called a Rescue Family in our community. One part of the family obtained special permission to take her outside for a new photo. Another gave her a name, Lilly, while others shared her story. They turned a blurry, stray hold, numbered photo into a living, breathing, wonderful dog with a new name, and made it cleat that her story would not end in the euthanasia room on Baldwin Avenue.

Yesterday, their voices were heard, and Lilly started a new chapter in her life. A family member picked her up from the pound and brought her to Angels of Assisi. From our clinic she went to a very special foster home. Here she is, already loved, and ready to go.

To all who participated in saving her, we are proud to be a part of the tenacity and love that holds this family together. Wendy, as always, you rock big time. A special thank you to the RCACP staff for doing some amazing things under very difficult circumstances. 

As for you, Miss Lilly, you've got a family bond surrounding you like no other; welcome to your new life sweetheart.

March 30, 2012

Floyd County Biscuits

We just received 8 dogs from Floyd County. Their elderly owner passed away, and the Floyd County Humane Society stepped in and transferred them to Angels of Assisi.

They are in worse shape than anyone anticipated, and getting a shave down this afternoon.

As always, we appreciate the Assisi staff for always jumping in to help. Thank you also to RCACP volunteer, Janet, for dropping everything and helping us today. The kindness of people in our community never ceases to amaze us.

These dogs will fall under the Biscuit Fund, and will need some serious medical care. Initial assessment shows that at least one may need a leg amputation. Donations are greatly appreciated. We'll keep you posted.

March 29, 2012

Cool Stuff Coming Up

Pretty in pink! This sweet girl came to the Angels of Assisi clinic for heartworm testing and prevention.

We're pretty excited to be announcing some new low cost Vet services services soon, stay tuned!


March 28, 2012


Carry: definition of:
  to move while supporting 
  to convey by direct communication 
  to influence by mental or emotional appeal
  to transfer from one place to another

The first time I met Marley was in the back of ACO Armsworthy's official vehicle. She was bringing her to Angels of Assisi for medical care, the hope of getting better, and the chance of living out her remaining time comfortable and cared for.

I helped carry Marley from the truck to the clinic that morning, then carried her to my car for the ride home.

Over the next few weeks, Marley often needed extra help and was carried up and down steps to go outside, to the car for Vet appointments, and to the back deck to catch some afternoon rays. Each time I had her in my arms, I knew that one day I would be carrying her for the last time. However, as she held her head high and scrambled to find her footing, we were both grateful that today was not that day.

When she made these jaunts on her own four legs, I was always ridiculously proud of her, and, judging by her tail wag and perky ears, she knew it and was proud of herself as well.

Last Saturday, Marley stopped eating. She had to be carried all the way outside, not just up the steps. Early Sunday morning she still had no desire to eat, and was even weaker. I called Emergency Vet Services and told them we were on our way. As I picked up Marley to carry her to the car, she rested her head on my shoulder. This was new, and I got her message loud and clear. She was tired, it was time, and, as always, she trusted me.

I carried her to the back of my car, and headed towards Roanoke. This sounds really crazy, but halfway there I pulled off the highway and carried her from the back seat to the front, because I did not want her to be alone on her last car ride. For the remaining trip Marley kept her eyes on me, and together we enjoyed the quiet with my hand on her head.

When we finally arrived at EVS, I carried her into the clinic and rested her on the exam table. We discussed the options, and decided an x-ray would put my mind at ease. Someone besides me
carried Marley to the back for the diagnostic test and IV insertion.

It was determined she was full of cancer, and it was time to let her go.

As they prepared syringes and blankets, I kept wondering where her family of 12 years was, and if, given the choice, would they want to be with her right now? It kept crossing my mind that, ironically, I was not the last person to carry her like I always thought I would be.

As Marley lay on the table, and before the IV sedation was administered, her eyes locked into mine. Tears flowed and the EVS staff took their time and remained wonderful.

As she got sleepy and her breathing stopped, Marley carried herself from this world and into my heart. And I was never so ridiculously proud of her as she did it with grace and dignity.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. You will be always be carried in our hearts, and you will always be an integral part of carrying out the mission. 

A special thank you to ACO Armsworthy, Dr. Spangler, Dr. Phillips, Trish, Deb, the wonderful EVS staff, and especially to those who understand the unspoken, and remain steadfast and true.

March 24, 2012

There is one being in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.  ~Edith Wharton

A Special Guest

Beamer came to the Angels of Assisi clinic to get his rabies shot updated yesterday. He is from the Roanoke Pound, and is headed to a rescue group this weekend. Note the tail wag in his handsome photo.

A special thank you to the Director of RCACP, Vicki Roller, for bringing him to the Assisi clinic. We share your commitment to the pound animals and welcome you all anytime.

As for you, Mr. Beamer, have yourself an awesome life buddy. We wish you every happiness under the sun.

March 23, 2012


Thank you to Physicians Weight Loss Center for hosting an Angels of Assisi adoption event yesterday! The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome, and had even organized a donation drive before the event. The weather was perfect, and the dogs loved being outside.

As wonderful as the day was, it was made even better with the support of two special volunteers.

Janet and Karen volunteer for both Angels of Assisi and the Roanoke Pound. We had some former pound dogs at the event, and Janet was very helpful in telling their story and giving insight into their personalities.

Joseph was a pound dog, and spent quite a long time in isolation. He was exposed to parvo and faced euthanasia, but as usual the volunteers persisted. Karen sponsored him and made sure he made it out alive with a transfer to Angels of Assisi.

Joseph is the one in our dog kennel area who is quiet and reserved. When we come by with treats, he slowly gets off of his bed and gives you a look like "Really? For me?". He has been a perfect gentleman and we see why he was a volunteer favorite, and why the RCACP volunteers fought so hard to save him.

Yesterday, Joseph got an adoption application. A young couple came and fell in love with him, and he seemed pretty smitten with them as well. If he is cleared medically, we hope he will go home this weekend.

Thank you, Janet and Karen, for following through with the Roanoke pound animals and honoring your commitment to them. We're honored to call all of the RCACP volunteers partners and friends, and are proud of your hard work.

PS: A double thank you to Janet for helping us unload last night as well!

March 22, 2012


Earlier this week, we posted a photo of hound puppies that needed a foster home, with the information that they had recently been found on Interstate 81.

We did receive this information from an employee, and acted on good faith that it was true. We learned yesterday that it was not, and we apologize for putting out false information. At the time, we had no reason to question the validity of his statement.

The employee went to Animal Control and told them the truth, and we contacted the media and clarified the story. 

The puppies are fine and in a wonderful Assisi foster home. Their story may not be as dramatic, but that makes them no less precious and valuable in anyone's eyes.

We've done our best to right the wrong, and we apologize for the false information.


Mo came through the Angels of Assisi spay/neuter clinic yesterday. His proud human dad told us how he was rescued from West Virginia, and showed us videos of all Mo's agility training. Very impressive!

Mo was one of the many brought in yesterday by loving pet owners, rocking out the preventative pet care. Thank you for your support, and keep up the good work!


March 21, 2012

Feeling Better

We are still looking for the owner of this pup found in Eagle Rock. 

Thank you to Botetourt Animal Control for bringing him to us for medical care. He is being treated for some nasty wounds and hurt bones in the Angels of Assisi clinic.

Based on on the photo below, he seems to be feeling better and is getting quite comfortable with the staff.

March 20, 2012

Common Theme

A walk through the adoption center will often find cute little kitty paws reaching out to touch someone. Come on down today and let that special someone be you!

Remember that you don't choose love; love chooses you. All you really can do is accept it for all its mystery when it comes into your life. Feel the way it fills you to overflowing then reach out and give it away.
~Kent Nerburn


Handed Down

This past week, we lost an Assisi family member, George the Old Dog. We first saw him at the Roanoke pound, with his face pressed against the wall and trembling. We transferred him to Angels of Assisi on blind faith that an old dog with health issues would find a home and a family to love him. He did, and a wonderful family claimed George as their own within days of his arrival.

Old George was the proud recipient of new sweaters, cool haircuts, treats, toys, beds, and his own facebook page. We all enjoyed his status updates, especially this one:

"Ruff night at the club Saturday. owowowowo....zzzzzz......."

George even did a fundraiser for his buddies at Angels of Assisi, and helped bring awareness that old dogs really make awesome family members.

We'll miss this senior gentleman very much. As a last tribute, his family brought his remaining supplies to Angels of Assisi over the weekend, including a therapeutic dog bed. It's been handed down to another senior dog, Marley, and she absolutely loves it.

George proved to us that not only is it OK to take a chance on animals that are far less than perfect, it is rewarding. His family loved him with a wonderful blend of humor and dignity. When it was time to let him go, they did, and cherished the time he spent with them.

After George was gone, his family handed down his belongings to other others in need. Along with those belongings, came the reinforcement that although far less than perfect, each creature on this earth does more than take up space. They have beating hearts and personalities that may not shine through at a municipal pound, but can certainly flourish in a home. And the real beauty of it? It's an awesome experience for all. We appreciate our Assisi family for embracing pets of all ages and stages of health. We love the fact that only do you respect-  but more importantly, enjoy-  this bumpy ride called life.

We would also like to thank Trish at RCACP. She has a soft spot for these seniors, and was very helpful with George and other seniors who end up at the pound through no fault of their own.

March 15, 2012

Clinic Cuteness

Check out 2 of the 30+ animals who arrived for spay/neuter at Angels of Assisi today! The first little one is Foxy, and she was brought in from our good friends at the Bedford Humane Society. Foxy is getting caught up on her medical care today, and will be ready for adoption!

This little gal is Gracie, a wonderful pet cat waiting patiently for her turn.

As always, we thank everyone who supports the Angels of Assisi clinic, and we enjoy taking care of your beloved family members, present and future!

March 14, 2012

Marley Biscuit

We're still taking it day by day. Today is one of sunshine and warm breezes, and for that, we're thankful.

The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you've had.  
~Author Unknown



Never, never, never, never give up.
- Winston Churchill

This post is dedicated to the volunteers. Of importance to note is that we did not say the Assisi volunteers, the Roanoke Pound volunteers, or the Franklin County Humane Society volunteers, and that is because they all are of one heart for the homeless animals in our community.

Because of them, Landon is one more example of a life enriched and a life saved. Some took his photo, some walked him, some put together a composite of his situation that others shared on-line.

When his situation became more urgent, additional photos were taken, and more networking was done.

This morning, we received volunteer calls from all the afore mentioned entities, all working together for Landon. Through determination and willing hearts, once again, they found a way. Handsome Landon is on his way to Angels of Assisi after being at the pound since early January, and he'll head to foster care this afternoon.

You all did an awesome job, as usual. We love your hearts and we love your unity of spirit. Keep up the good work.

March 13, 2012


Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.  "Pooh!" he whispered.  
"Yes, Piglet?"  
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw.  "I just wanted to be sure of you."  
~A.A. Milne


Got The Motor Running

Little Tammy was brought to us by Roanoke County Animal Control as a stray needing medical care. She was all bones, infections, and purrs when we got her, and while the infections have cleared, she still needs to gain some weight. Throughout all her blood work, meds, and clinic care, the purring remained. So awesome.

A big thank you to our friend Betty for taking Tammy home. We are not sure if the cancer will let her stay long in this world, but we do know that she will be in a wonderful place and will be well cared for.

To the good officers of Roanoke County Animal Control, thank you allowing us to partner with this special cat. You did a great thing for her, and we appreciate you.

Incey Wincey

Toni, foster mom extraordinaire, has once again decided to overwhelm us with cuteness.

Introducing Bert the Squirt. He is in the process of getting his Vet work done and settling into Toni's house. At 3.3 pounds, good things certainly do come in small packages!


Point Four Percent

These 2 little sweethearts came through the Angels of Assisi spay/neuter clinic last week.

They don't even make up one percent of the 500+ animals that come through our surgery doors each month, but they are precious and loved by responsible folks in our community. Thank you for doing your share.

Sunday Mornings With Mattox

Mattox was brought to us last fall, and upon arrival he was very mistrustful and under socialized. A handful to say the least. 

We housed him in the clinic, and the staff began to work with him. Over time, he came to love the folks who took care of him, and the mistrust turned into ultimate loyalty and admiration. Mattox learned to keep his kennel spotless, enjoys his outside walks immensely, and is about the easiest dog we have in terms of physical care. Low maintenance if you will. Once he gets to know you, it's all good.

Sunday mornings are my time with Mattox. He waits patiently while all the other animals in the clinic are fed, medicated, and walked. After he gets his breakfast, I get him out of his kennel and try to contain his happy wiggles long enough to clip on his leash. And then we walk.

Usually we head away from downtown in search of grass, old buildings, and interesting smells. This is perhaps a less favorable side of town, and it is not unusual to be approached by strangers for money.

When it does, my boy Mattox will take a firm stand between me and the perceived intruder, all the while giving a menacing growl and death stare. As the intruder retreats, Matty will give me a once over to make sure all is well "You good? I got this covered, all is safe and under control. Let's hit the next block."

Mattox has healed enough to move on and is ready for adoption. That ultimate loyalty and admiration goes both ways, and we love him enough to let him go. So, if you are looking for a faithful companion and guardian, Mattox may be your man. One thing we know for sure, there is nothing better than feeling safe, and he'll do his very best to keep you that way.

I don't want expensive gifts; I don't want to be bought. I have everything I want. I just want someone to be there for me, to make me feel safe and secure.
~Princess Diana

March 3, 2012

Seniors In Need

These 2 senior dogs are at the Roanoke Pound, very scared, and not adjusting well. If you can help foster, please contact us. Together we can make their ending a happy one...  any takers?

March 2, 2012

Andrew's Pick

Little Siren is all mended and ready for adoption. Come on by any day between 2 - 6pm!


March 1, 2012


Dear Foster Dog:

We saw your photo, and learned that you had been stuck in someone's backyard fish pond, unable to get out. Instantly we knew that if no one came forward, you would be an Assisi dog.

They didn't, and now you are officially ours. I took you home, not sure if you would make it through the weekend.

That was 10 days ago, and while a little better, we're still taking it hour by hour. The Angels of Assisi medical team took the tumor off of your leg, but it is still painful, and we don't know if it will ever heal right. 

Throughout your stay, I have tried to find your favorite dog food, and one you will tolerate. So far, it's canned Mighty Dog, eh, not great, but it will have to do. I tried to find you a nice, quiet, safe place in the house. For a while I kept you in the Sun Room, fully equipped with radio, personal heater, and fresh towels in case you you had an accident. I tried to keep you away from the other dogs, and the busyness of our routine.

From the moment you gained enough strength to stand up on your own, you came out of the Sun Room. You went to the front door and let me know you had to go out. You followed me as I fed the other dogs, and waited patiently for your turn. At night, you came into my room, and squeezed onto a bed too small for you, with half your body on the hardwood floor. I tried to point you back in the direction of the Sun Room, with it's cushy carpet, radio, and personal heater, but you continued to opt for the hardwood floor in my room instead.

As you gradually and persistently eased your way into our busy routine, the realization finally struck me; even though I am not the person you shared your life with for the last 12 years, I am your person now. Although I have tried to provide you with gourmet meals and every material thing a dog could ever want, all you really want is me.

So here's the deal: with the support of Dr. Spangler and the Assisi team,  I'll keep you safe, if you promise to enjoy every last minute of however long you have left on this earth. I believe we are off to a good start.

Love always,

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.
~Thomas Jefferson 

A special thank you to ACO Rhonda who saved Foster Dog, now named Marley.

Of importance to note also, is that every dog has in him the same desires as Marley; all they really want is you. How lucky we are to be that person.