November 29, 2012


This handsome guy was bought off of Craigslist, and then ended up with Parvo a few weeks later. His new owners could not afford treatment, and thanks to some major efforts on the part of our Director of Adoptions, Chaz, he was finally signed over to us last night at Emergency Vet Services. From there he was transferred for treatment at Dr. Carter's office in Troutville.

From all accounts, he will survive his Parvo episode, but right now he is confused from being bounced around from house to house, then from clinic to clinic. We were worried about him while we waited for his arrival, and now want to help ease his fears and offer him security and a home of his own. Scooby is a very sweet boy, and needs a foster home. Please contact us if you want to help put some light back in those troubled eyes.  


We never know what the day will bring to the Angels of Assisi clinic, but this one proved to be extra special. First thing this morning we got a call from our friend Libby at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection, looking for help with one their dogs.

Otis had some major(!) issues with his back end, and Dr. Spangler performed the corrective surgery. While he was under anesthesia, he was neutered and then updated on shots. After a few days of rest, he will be ready for adoption. As the transition within the RCACP begins, we hope more and more of the homeless animals housed there will have the option for medical treatment instead of losing their lives.

Later in the day, we received a call from the Vinton Vet - a small dog was in labor, but was having very serious complications. She would die without a c-section, along with her babies. The owners had very recently rescued her, and could not afford the cost of the surgery needed to save their lives. Was there anything we could do? 

Dr.  Phillips knew the answer before the front desk staff even finished explaining the situation to her - "send them over!" 

All of our medical staff jumped in saving little Lulu's life and delivering her three puppies. Sometimes, storks wear surgical gowns. We're happy to say that mama and babies (two girls, one boy) are doing well and sleeping peacefully now. Lulu was spayed during the surgery so she never gets in this predicament again. All four returned home with their rescue family, equipped with extra puppy formula and bottles just in case they need them.

We are so appreciative for the medical staff at Angels of Assisi for going above and beyond today, and proud that they have the expertise and dedication to handle all the extra situations that come our way. On top of their scheduled day, they made the time to perform complicated surgeries and save 5 additional lives. We knew nothing about these extras this morning, and now they are embedded in our history and brought us closer as a team. 

To all who donate to Angels of Assisi, whether it be money, supplies, time, and often words of support, the five animals who are living and breathing tonight are because of you, and we are honored to be a part of this caring community. Thank you!   

Where there is love there is life.
~  Mahatma Gandhi

November 27, 2012


Mack came into the Campbell County pound with severe injuries as the result of being hit by a car – he was unable to walk and had three torn ligaments in his right knee and a dislocated hip. This 3 year old German Shepherd mix needed help, and fast, but his medical bills were expected to total several thousand dollars. Some calls were made, and he was transferred to Angels of Assisi.

Right off the bat, it was clear that Mack was a special dog. Despite the pain he was in, he quickly impressed us with his affectionate, gentle, and mellow personality. We put a plea out for help with medical expenses on our Facebook page, in the paper, and on the news. We were absolutely blown away by the public’s response to Mack! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your generous donations; because of your support and the support of other kindhearted folks, we have raised enough money to get Mack the medical care that he needs.

Angels of Assisi receives no public funding and much of our operating budget comes from people exactly like you. We couldn’t do what we do without your support. Because of your generosity, this happy fella is getting the care he needs and is healing nicely in his wonderful foster home. He’s pictured here with his foster mom’s daughter – she reports that Mack is a good hugger!

Thank you for being in Mack’s corner!

November 22, 2012

Givers and Takers

One of my all time favorite people in the world is my Uncle Norm, who over the years has tried to instill words of wisdom into my innate stubbornness. Some of his teachings really did stick, and as I get older, I see more and more of the truth behind them, especially this one: the word is made up of two kinds of people, givers and takers.

And each day it is more and more apparent that the givers find their way to Angels of Assisi, our ever growing rescue fueled by the kindness of this community.

Thanksgiving morning was no different, as people flocked in, taking dogs to the Drumstick Dash, cleaning cat cages, photographing animals in need, painting, assembling new cat colony rooms, doing dishes, giving meds, playing with dogs, filling Kongs, laughing, and enjoying our extended family ties, all for a love of the animals.

On this day, and always, we are eternally grateful for all of you. Thank you for giving from the heart so effortlessly and making making the world a better place.

If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that--warm things, kind things, sweet things--help and comfort and laughter.

Frances Hodgson Burnett

November 14, 2012


Seagoville is rural Texas, with a population of only 15,000 people. Not exactly the kind of place you would expect to be a bastion of caring for dogs and cats. But, it is. The story of how that came to be can help every municipality in the world to achieve the same thing.

Bravo to Sergeant Karl Baileysult, for creating alternatives to killing, appreciating his community, and inspiring people near and far. "Sergeant Bailey started work at 9:00. At 9:01 he closed the gas chamber. At 9:02 he told the staff the killing stops." And it did.

Stories like this reaffirm our belief in the responsible and wonderful public. One of these days, it will be our Roanoke tale that is told, and folks across the country will be inspired by you, the volunteers working so hard to make it happen.  (Click here for the You Tube version).


The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn't look like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, he's going to keep digging, he's going to keep trying to do right and make up for what's gone before, just because that's who he is.
~ Joss Whedon

November 13, 2012

All In A Row

Kittens, kittens, kittens.... and then some more kittens. Angels of Assisi is not alone in being inundated with kittens, like this litter brought to us needing medical care from Botetourt County Animal Control.

We are grateful that, despite the magnitude of cats and kittens entering our adoption center and foster program, staff and volunteers get to know them as individuals. Kitties get named and photographed. They get silly little toys and boxes to rip up and play in. Our awesome cleaning guy, Ryan, is in charge of distributing home grown cat nip. Volunteers take the time to brush them and sometimes do nothing but sit in the colony rooms, tossing balls and handing out chin scratches.

Because of the kindness of their caregivers, the cats under our roof are so much more than a medical record number. For instance, the white kitten in this photo tends to smash her face into her food, and needs an extra hand keeping clean. Chaz, our Director of Adoptions, knows off the top of her head which cats in the center seem unfriendly and hide, but will immediately start purring as soon as you take them out of their kennels.

As the felines in our care wait for new homes, we are appreciate all who make the transition as easy as possible, for taking the time to get to know them, and letting their inner light shine through.

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You know that your name is safe in their mouth.
~ Jess C. Scott

November 8, 2012

Lessons In Love

"But we want our kids to witness the miracle of birth."

The above statement is a common one as we try to educate people on the importance of spay and neuter. And you know what? To some extent, we get it. The average Joe Smith family may not know that there are thousands of homeless animals being killed in their city and across the nation.

Take that equation out, and is it really so wrong to want your kids to see a litter of puppies or kittens entering the world, to marvel at their cuteness, watch how the mama cares for them, and learn some compassion for the animals that need us?

Typically rescue groups get really pissed off when they hear the "kids need to witness the miracle" comeback. We understand that as well- these are the folks who work day and night to save animals from the pound, and it is very strenuous work, financially, physically, and emotionally.

So... how about a compromise? At any given time, there are pregnant dogs and cats at the pound; they need rescuing, they need someone to monitor them as their babies enter the world, and they need some compassion. Watching the babies grow and play is an added bonus, on top of a hefty dose of responsibility.

Liam and Brendan are two great kids witnessing this exact miracle right now. Their family helped rescue a very pregnant dog, who was out of options, from the Roanoke pound. They named her Buttercup, showered her with love and new toys, and prepared for the new additions to arrive. 

And last night, they started doing just that. Seven to be exact. Thanks to even the small amount of prep time her foster family had, she did great. Liam and Brendan got to witness the miracle, and we heard they were a big help.

For today, everyone is catching up on sleep and enjoying the new babies. They will need that rest to prepare for the weeks to come, as raising a litter of seven is no easy task! We know that Liam and Brendan will enjoy playing with them, and that children and puppies learn much from play time.

They will get to watch the puppies grow up, and then participate in the process as families pick out puppies to adopt. Eventually they will have to say goodbye as Buttercup and her puppies move to on to new, permanent homes.

A tremendous thank you to the family that not only saved Buttercup and her seven babies, but ensured that their their boys were part of the process. In doing so, we got to witness compassion at it's best, and passed on to the kids who will take our places in this crazy world.

Enjoy your babies, Liam and Brendan, while we enjoy watching all of you, kids and dogs, grow and learn.


Thank you to Inglath, who always has a heart of gold for the unborn babies, to the England family,  who can almost write the book on kids and foster puppies, and to the French family for saving Buttercup and her babies. You all are huge part of the best part of Angels of Assisi, and we appreciate you beyond words.

November 7, 2012

Check Up

Dr. Phillips gives the once over to a little guy transferred from the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection this afternoon. He was all smiles in our adoption center, without even realizing that his life was saved by caring staff and volunteers. Although more than pleased with his temporary crate, he has a home waiting for him. He will be back in a few weeks for another exam and a dental cleaning. Happy trails to you, little poodle guy, we were happy to be a stepping stone on the way to your new life.


This lost little soul was found on Campbell Avenue this morning. She is very, very thin, and will be seen in our clinic to evaluate her medical needs.

Once her stray hold time is up, she will need a foster home, possibly as a hospice. Take a close look at her eyes, and see that if anyone is deserving of a soft bed and TLC, this is your girl. 
Please contact us if you can help.

Compassion is a verb.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh


New Guy

Mack was hit by a car last week. His family could not afford the necessary medical treatment, and signed him over to the Friends of Campbell County Animal Control. Through the magic of internet networking, the good folks of Campbell County shared his story and need for help:

We (
Friends of Campbell County Animal Control) do not have the resources--foster care or funding--to help Mack and are reaching out to our friends to share and help. Mack is about 65 pounds, has not been vetted by his family, and is the sweetest boy in the world! His owner was quick to point out that Mack's father was a drug dog and that his mother is a border collie, so if you are looking for purebred, Mack is not.

Mack IS loving, gentle with kids, and has not lost his ability to appreciate kindness in the midst of his agonizing pain. Initial assessment by the vet indicates dislocated hip on the left side, and a break just above the knee in the right rear leg, plus a spinal fracture near the base of the spine. The spinal fracture is not the biggest issue, as Mack urinates just fine. Mack gets up to walk and uses his dislocated leg, but falls after three or four steps. He does not use his right leg at all. Folks, we are desperate to find him help! The family did not want Mack euthanized, but if we cannot find help for him, we have few options. I would not want to see him lose his life over funding, but cannot bear to think of the pain he must be in, despite heavy doses of pain meds he is being given to control it. Please SHARE.

Mack was transferred to Angels of Assisi, treated at Dr. Carter's office, and will heading to Dr. Krauss for a full evaluation and possibly surgery. Staff tells us that he he is the sweetest boy in the world, despite going through a very hard time right now. Thank you to all who worked together and rescued him! He's got a long way to go, but caring people from two communities, and beyond,
pulling for him.

November 2, 2012

A Short Goodbye

Sissy says goodbye to her mom this morning, as she is dropped off for her dental appointment. She came with her very own blanket to give her some familiar smells and textures, but we know she will be very glad to go home at 5 pm! Meanwhile, she is resting comfortable in the clinic, and ready to get those chompers shiny and clean.

Read All About It

The newsletter has been delivered- click here and enjoy! We appreciate all the hard work Brantley Gusler did in getting it together!


November 1, 2012


"Why do cats sleep so much? Perhaps they've been trusted with some major cosmic task, an essential law of physics - such as: if there are less than 5 million cats sleeping at any one time the world will stop spinning. So that when you look at them and think, "what a lazy, good-for-nothing animal," they are, in fact, working very, very hard."
  ~ Kate Atkinson