May 31, 2012


Little Baily spent the week at the Roanoke pound while his owner was in the hospital. We are not sure of the how and why, but he is back home today, thanks to the tremendous efforts of Roanoke City Animal Control Officer Gibson.

Office Gibson escorted Baily to Angels of Assisi, where he was updated on all his shots, heart worm tested, and given a dose of Frontline. On Monday he will return for neuter and microchip, then go back home to live happily ever after.

Baily's Vet care will be covered under the Biscuit Fund, because sometimes people need a little help too. We hope his owner is feeling better, and appreciate how grateful he was for the help.

As always, it was wonderful to work with the Animal Control Officers in our community, and we look forward to many future partnerships. Officer Gibson went above and beyond for Baily, and because of it, a family was reunited. Well done!

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  
Unsuccessful people are always asking "What's in it for me?"  
~Brian Tracy

Hanging On

     You must be at the end of your rope, I felt a tug.
     ~Author Unknown

This post is dedicated to the Roanoke Pound volunteers and staff. We heard you had a rough day yesterday, and the loss of Jasper hit you all hard. We're sorry, for him and for you.

Take some time to mourn his loss if you need to. Acknowledge his life in your own way.

Afterwards, please remember a few things:

  • The number of animals actually entering RCACP was down by 846 from 2008 - 2011.
  • RCACP dogs are going to their second off site adoption event in a year!
  • RCACP animals are getting beautiful photographs, and their stories told.
  • RCACP animals have the beginning of shelter enrichment programs.
  • The save rate for dogs at RCACP is over 85 percent -  up from 55 percent two years ago.
  • The save rate for cats at RCACP is over 55 percent -  up from 19 percent two years ago.

And more than anything, RCACP animals have a voice, a history. They have a future.

You all have done that for them. Thank you. What a ride it has been- you all have learned to publicly speak to city officials, sharpened some excellent photography skills, learned dog training, and become masters at marketing and conflict resolution (much better than me, for sure!).

More than anything, we have formed bonds of everlasting friendships and support, and learned to agree to disagree when it counts. Angles of Assisi supports your efforts wholeheartedly, and we are proud to call you partners and friends. Keep up the good work, you are making history in this community.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, 
till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, 
never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. 
~Harriet Beecher Stowe

May 30, 2012

Anger Diaries Part 1: Compassion

The world of animal rescue is hard one, no doubt about it. People dumping animals because of kids, allergies, and the ever famous "I'm moving in 2 days and can't take my 12 year old cat". We hear these stories day in and day out, and common overtones involve Hating All People and comparing stories of how much they suck.

On the front lines, the army of workers and volunteers in animal rescue will stop at nothing to save innocent lives. (And we love you for it!) This involves transporting, cleaning, walking, photographing, hauling heavy crates, begging spouses to foster just one more, and spending our last dollar on kitten formula.

The amount of compassion poured into homeless, neglected, and abused animals is insurmountable. But sometimes we have to remember to share some of that compassion with our human counterparts.

People do get sick. People do get into financial trouble. People do get desperate. Have you ever cherished every moment in the hours between 10 pm and 8 am, because the phone and doorbell would most likely not ring between those times? I have. Have you ever had so much on your shoulders that you have to take it one day at time? I have. In fact, some of the best advice I ever received was to not take it one day at time, but to take it one minute at a time. I may not have survived without that minute by minute advice. Those folks getting rid of animals days before they lose their home may have been in the minute to minute survival mode as well. It happens.

Over the weekend, we had a gentleman try to surrender his family dog to us, a little dachshund named Penny. He had already been to the pound, and did not want to leave her at a kill shelter. When we told him our adoption center was full, he got mad, and drove off saying he would shoot her in the head. What an 'effing bastard.

Animal Control was called, intervened, and the dog did make it to our adoption center, safe and sound. She arrived with a pretty collar and a full folder, demonstrating updated shots, Vet care, and city tags. Was this guy a total asshole? Maybe not. He was, however, elderly, sick, and a caregiver to his wife on dialysis.

In a nutshell, here is the life of someone in kidney failure: 
  • Dialysis patients get hooked up to a machine that filters the toxins from their blood 3 times a week, for 4 hours each time.
  • Dialysis patients get stuck with seriously large needles for each treatment. They hurt.
  • Dialysis patients are fearful that they could bleed out, faint, get horrendous leg cramps, and possibly die with each treatment.
  • Dialysis patients suffer from chronic thirst, but are on a fluid restriction of one liter of fluid each day. Fluid is anything that melts at room temperature.
  • Dialysis patients have to restrict potassium from their diet. Tomatoes, potatoes, bananas and oranges in particular. If they do eat too much potassium, there will be no warning, no chest pain, no nothing; they just drop dead. Pretty scary.
  • Dialysis patients develop gray skin.
  • Dialysis patients with diabetes usually lose fingers, toes, arms, and legs. 
  • Dialysis patients with diabetes often go blind.
  • Dialysis patients have to take 2 - 6 Tums with every meal. Tums are very chalky tasting and are used as phosphate binders. Dialysis patients cannot pee out extra phosphorus, they have to take the Tums to make them poop it out. If they don't take the phosphate binders, their phosphorus levels get really high, making their calcium levels really low, causing their bones to become brittle and snap.
  • And, better than anything else, dialysis patients have to sit in a big room full of other dialysis patients hooked up to machines and talk to the dietitian about their phosphorus ridden bowel moments, and how much fluid weight they gain in between treatments. 
This man was taking care of his wife, who as a dialysis patient has had just about every freedom taken from her. Not an easy life for either of them. On top of that, for reasons we don't know, he had to get rid of his dog. Did he have a right to be angry? You bet. Maybe, in the threat to shoot his well cared for dog, he was thinking that it was the ultimate kindness to take her life in one quick moment himself, rather that have her scared and alone at the pound, and dying amongst strangers.

I'm not saying that there are not some people who are, indeed, horrible to their animals. In those cases, we do our best to get the animals to safety, and let law enforcement do their thing. Virginia animal welfare laws are actually quite good, and although frustrating at times, the wheels of justice generally work well.

What we have seen at Angels of Assisi, time after time, is that for every horrible person in this world, there are so many more who step up and help. We do the easy part in taking in the homeless, sick, abused, and injured animals. The good people in this world are the ones who come to their rescue with generous contributions of food, supplies, and donations to the Biscuit Fund. There are so many who open up their hearts and homes to the old, injured, and sick animals. They seem to have an endless supply of love and resources to pour into the less fortunate.

As we go about the tremendous task of helping the homeless pets, let's also remember our compassion for people. If we fall into the self important "I hate all people and everyone sucks" mode, who will foster, adopt, and donate to the cause? And why in the hell would they want to? Saving animals has to come from more than just the exclusive front lines of rescue workers and volunteers, it takes a community. And the community has proven to be pretty awesome at covering for the animals, and their former owners, when they need it most.


If a seething anger wells up within you, because people are the problem,
remember your humanity and that people are also the solution.
~ Jim Willis

May 25, 2012


Comradery: the spirit of friendship and community in a group.
A close friend or a fellow soldier — in other words, someone who comes to mind when you say, "We're in this together." Comradery reflects that same spirit: both words can be traced to the Spanish word comarada, meaning “chamber mate,” or roommate. Comradery is a feeling of trust, a bond created by a shared goal or experience — you don't have to be best friends with everyone in the group to know you have their support.


Cheekie was a plain old dog housed at the Roanoke pound earlier this month. Her time was up, and RCACP staff called us to see if she could be transferred to Angels of Assisi. It was possible she was pregnant, and she had no where to go.

Word got around, and one of the most wonderful volunteers in the world, Janet Corbin, offered to foster her. Cheekie was safe, and yes, she was indeed pregnant. When we called the Pound to let them know a transfer was possible, a collective "WOO HOO" could be heard loud and clear through the phone lines. (We kinda absolutely love those front desk employees, Libbie and Katie!).

The RCACP and Angels of Assisi volunteers watched as Cheekie made her way to Janet's house, and watched as the photos appeared of her belly getting bigger. And bigger, and then, like, seriously bigger. The enormity of it turned into a a "Puppy Pool" with folks guessing how many and when they would arrive. That turned into a facebook event, and raised about $300 for the Biscuit Fund- pretty awesome!

The big day finally arrived, and the first puppy was named after Amos, and words can't really describe how that made us feel. People remembered him, he mattered, and through their love, he lives on. The next puppy was named after Athena, she mattered, and she was loved. Not in a home, but in our shelter and in our hearts. And in her honor, these new babies will not end up homeless.

On and on the puppies came, folks followed the story and sent their good vibes, until there were 13. One was named after our friend, Hany, who has the most extraordinary way with dogs. He joked that he would have to take special interest in this pup, because one could not have an unruly Hany running around town, so we promptly told him that several other large dogs in our adoption center would be re-named Hany... stat! He is going to be one busy man!

Donations started arriving at Janet's- a plastic pool, food, laundry detergent. And to date, 3 adoption applications have been submitted in the 4 days they have been on this earth. A special thank you to Janet, Karen, and Meg for a very busy few days!

From plain old brown dog, to hero and mama of 13, Cheekie's story is one that was made possible by the good people in our community. Not only did you save her by fostering, you turned her predicament into one of comradery and we all became a little closer, a little more united, and a little more "you know what, we can do this, and we're going to have fun with it, because this is where our heats are".

Thanks to all for what you accomplished this last week. 14 lives were saved, and, more than ever, experiences and goals are being shared. For little Hany and those that follow, that means everything.

May 24, 2012


Stanley was surrendered to the Angels of Assisi center earlier this week. During his routine intake exam, it was noted his microchip info did not match the info of the person who surrendered him.

A call was placed, and within 15 minutes his owner was at our front door to get his boy. Although missing for over 6 months, Stanley knew it was his dad, and he seemed to breath a sign of relief as he rested his head on his shoulder. I think we all did.

A microchip made this reunion possible. Angels of Assisi offers this service for $20- please give us a call at 344-8707 for an appointment, It made all the difference for Stanley!!

Preservation Of Life For All

Remmy arrived at the Angels of Assisi adoption yesterday, She is a tiny bundle of curiosity mixed with cuteness, and the perfect gal to share a morning bagel. She seems to prefer people food, and we're happy to oblige.

It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked.
~Haile Selassie 


May 19, 2012

We're Helping With A Rescue!

50 horses and donkeys were from a Dinwiddie County property late Wednesday night, along with goats, sheep, and 30 dogs.

 The court case to determine custody will be next week. To help the local pound make room for the 30 dogs arriving, Angels of Assisi will be taking some of their existing pound dogs who are ready for adoption. We are thankful to the Animal Control Officers and rescue groups who are scrambling to find their existing dogs a safe haven, and not wanting to put them down to make room.

Meet 2 of the 8-12 who will be arriving tomorrow:

We will be picking them up around 3:30 pm, and should return to Angels of Assisi by 6 pm. Any contributions of food, blankets, and crates will be greatly appreciated.

As soon as the court case pertaining to custody is resolved, we are expecting goats, sheep, and some of the neglected dogs. As always, thank you!  Because of your support, lives are being saved in Roanoke and throughout Virgina.

New Girl

Luna Ray was originally adopted from the Roanoke SPCA. She reportedly went to church every Sunday with her family, and was great with the kids and other dogs. The family had a new baby, and she was turned in to the Roanoke Pound. She was scheduled to be killed yesterday, but she got a break. Miss Luna was transferred to Angels of Assisi today, and will remain safe from harm. 

We're not sure of her entire story, but we are sure that she knows how to sit, shake, and walks like a perfect lady on leash. She's already won our hearts, and we are sure will capture yours as well ♥

Thank you to the RCACP staff and volunteers for looking out for Luna, especially Karen for giving her a lift to Angels of Assisi, and to Teresa for the awesome photos. You all make this thing called Rescue a heartwarming experience.

May 13, 2012

Roanoke Pound Biscuit

Following this message last Friday, Noah was transferred to Angels of Assisi.

Noah came to the RCACP (Roanoke Pound) as a stray on 5/4 and quickly became a staff favorite. He is VERY friendly and loves attention. When he was picked up by animal control they noticed some injuries so he was seen at a local vets office. He is still in need of some medical care and the RCACP does not have a vet on staff. If he does not go to a rescue today he will be euthanized.

Dr. Spangler examined him upon arrival, and despite some nasty leg wounds, he was very happy to see us and is quite possibly the nicest cat ever. Noah will fall under the Biscuit Fund for abused and injured animals. It looks like his sutures opened up during his stay at the pound. The open wounds combined with his back leg hair loss makes him all the more endearing, and none of that is stopping him from wanting to jump in our laps.

Pardon the blurry photos, but you can get the idea below.

As always, we appreciate the support for animals like Noah. You are always welcome to come visit and get one of his special head bonks of appreciation- they are the best!

May 9, 2012


Thelma was left in a rental home when her owner moved to Florida. The note read "Please find Thelma a home, or take her to the pound".

Fortunately, the awesome Animal Control Officers of Botetourt County were called, and she rode shotgun right on down to Angels of Assisi. She's been checked out by clinic staff, and ready for adoption. Thelma is a wonderfully sweet dog, quiet and calm. If you cannot adopt, please consider fostering, she will be a wonderful addition to any family!

May 8, 2012


We love getting updates on adopted Assisi animals, and it does not get any better than this!

Dear Angels of Assisi,

It's official, Eddie loves the boat.  He really loves it when it's moving and he can feel the wind in his face.  He is a fearless little guy who likes to swim, bark at passing ducks, and lay on the boat deck with the sun shining on his face. And every fish that is caught must be inspected by Eddie before we can throw it back :)

We are so happy to have found this little guy.  He has made a wonderful addition to our family and makes us smile every day.  We had shared with you that we had recently lost our Brittany Spaniel to cancer. So we feel like Eddie has come into our lives at a time when we needed a little rescuing too.

Thanks again for all your help. Please enjoy the attached pictures of Eddie's first time on the boat.

Joey, Marcie, & Eddie Dawson

 Pinned Image

Rather than being about excitement and lust, a soul mate relationship is characterized by such things as a shared life path, a sense of comfort and ease, and a genuine liking of each other.
~Katherine Woodward Thomas

Bath Time!

Cutie Pie may look good here, but when she arrived with her six canine friends from a condemned house last week, not so much.

To our very special volunteers, Karen and Janet, we love you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for dropping everything and jumping in whenever we ask for your help. You have an uncanny and wonderful sense of things that need to be done, but we have not gotten to yet, and just do them.  All this with willing and smiling hearts. You make our days easier and brighter, and we are honored to call you partners and friends.

Clinic Cuteness

This handsome duo arrived at the Angels of Assisi clinic for a wellness appointment today. They are two of about forty animals we see per day in the clinic to get updated on vaccinations, toenail trims, heartworm testing, flea prevention, worming, and other routine procedures. 

All pets are eligible, no age or income restrictions for their owners either. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 344-8707!

New Mama

This pretty cat was one of ten who arrived at the Roanoke pound over three weeks ago. Many were in rough shape, to the point of needing eyes removed. We pulled four last week and made arrangements to pick up the remaining six this morning. Apparently, little George, now known as Georgette, could not wait, and had five babies this morning. And now she needs a foster home to rest, relax, and be a good mama. She has had a lifetime of stress that has been heightened in the last three weeks, and it's time she had a little help. Check out her sweet babies behind her.

Please call or text 400-2233 if you can help. Fostering kittens relatively easy, and a whole lotta entertainment!

A special thank you to RCACP staff members, Katie and Libby, for going above and beyond to help the animals at the pound, you are the best!


May 5, 2012

Looking For Love

Last Friday, six dogs arrived from a house that had been condemned. Their owners were very distraught, and begged for help in keeping their canine family from the pound. We don't know much else about how or why they got into such a situation, but as far as the dogs go, it's done, and does not matter anymore. They have been signed over to our care, and they need help. They need medical care. They need additional grooming, and right now, more than anything, they need an understanding foster home. They need to stop being afraid.

Please email or call/text 400-2233 if you can help. We'll provide the medical care, you provide the safety of a home, deal? As always, we appreciate your support!

Who, being loved, is poor?  
~Oscar Wilde

May 4, 2012

Your Donations At Work (Or Play, As The Case May Be)

Adele and Kelty arrived as part of a litter last month, and broke with deadly parvo shortly after. They had to be hooked up to IV fluids, receive costly medical treatment, and our clinic had to add additional staff to care for them and ensure the safety of the other animals.

Because of your support- donations of time, money, and supplies, these two sweet souls lived and have an awesome life. Thank you. We're sending a special shout out to their foster parents, Amy and Devin, who put their heart and soul into the puppies they foster- take a look at your babies now! Well done!

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


Sammy was turned into the Roanoke Pound, and deemed as a "rescue only" meaning he could not be adopted through the Pound or the Roanoke SPCA. Thankfully, Pound staff and volunteers kept a careful watch on him, and he was transferred to Angels of Assisi for adoption when a family wanted to take him home. Looks like things are going well! His new name is Atlas, and apparently he is quite a ham! This just in from his new mom:

Is she watching???


Aw dang! She caught me! Better smile for the camera!!

Thank you everyone! As usual, your efforts have paid off big time- keep up the good work!

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home.  
~Author Unknown

May 2, 2012

Biscuit Potential Update! Let's Do This!

Ten cats are in trouble at the Roanoke pound. Several may need eyes removed, and they all need our help. So far, we have foster homes for five- half way there! Please help if you can, we need a commitment today!


Fh3-4 Needs an adoption or foster


Fh3-6 Needs an adoption of foster


Fh3-7 Needs an adoption or foster


Fh3-9 Needs an adoption or foster


Fh-12 Needs an adoption or foster


Please email or call/text 400-2233 if you can help.

These cats can fall under the Biscuit Fund. We've done it before, who's in to try again?

At the end of the day, love and compassion will win.
Terry Waite


See this collar and name tag? It's brand spankin' new. A new collar for an old dog, abandoned at the Roanoke pound. He is being transferred to Angels of Assisi today, and headed to the most wonderful foster home ever. 

This collar and name tag represents so much- determination, partnerships, relief, joy, and love. Welcome to your new life, Colt.


May 1, 2012

Pound Dogs Gone Home

Former Roanoke Pound dog, Kaliope, was adopted through Angels of Assisi last week. She is going to be a service dog for a child with autism, and we are SO proud of her! The little girl had a hard time saying Kaliope (we do too!) so she is now named Lucy.

Have yourself a wonderful, life, Miss Lucy, and take good care of your new best friend.

Pound Dogs Gone Home

Former Roanoke pound dog, Ellie, is on the left. She is fitting in well with her new foster sister, and has a big yard to play in. Ellie was saved from the Roanoke pound by the partnership of Angels of Assisi and the Franklin County Humane Society. FCHS found a rescue and transported her, we repaired her hernia during spay surgery, and Ellie has a new chance at life.

This was all made possible by the volunteers of the Roanoke pound, who were the first to meet her. So many people to thank, and more and more the lines the Pound volunteers, Angels of Assisi, Franklin County Humane Society, League for Animal Protection, and the Bedford Humane Society are being blurred as we all merge into one heart and mind, with the mission of saving lives.