January 31, 2014


One of the highlights of the day is seeing our volunteer, Art. He arrives with a faithful helper who assists him down the stairs and situated into whatever area of the adoption center he chooses to spoil for the afternoon. Usually it is the cat colony on the back wall, and today I tease him that he chose a shirt to specifically match our chair, so it must be time for another photo op. Art grins and agrees, as cats lean into his familiar legs.

Coming to the adoption center is also a highlight of Art's day, and tomorrow night he has plans to go out to dinner; folks are taking him to KFC and he can't wait.

I absolutely love Art with his patient and gentle soul. He is what our cats need as they wait for new homes, someone to sit and just be with them. Watching Art's face and mannerisms while they interact shows that the cats are really, really good for him too, and that the bond between animals and humans is not to be taken lightly. Art is wise in many non-traditional ways, and we are lucky to be on the receiving end of his kindness.


January 29, 2014

Little Darla

Here comes the sun..
Here comes the sun
And I say
it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Here comes the sun...
here comes the sun
It's all right

Darla was found with her lead stuck under a dumpster last week when the temperatures were in the single digits. A nice man found her, took her to his house, and then to Angels of Assisi hoping we could help. Here she is getting a little TLC from staff upon arrival.

Through the power of networking, and a keen eye by our friend Janie Blankenship, Darla's "lost' photo was spotted last night. Calls were made, and she was reunited with her family at Angels of Assisi first thing this morning.

In between the joy and excitement of seeing her family, Darla received a complimentary microchip, and an appointment set for spay surgery.

Besides the wonderful ending of a family finding their beloved pet, there is another lesson to be learned here. It would have been very easy to jump to the conclusion that Darla was dumped at the dump, on one of the coldest days of the year, by a monster, asshole, POS, and this is why we hate the humane race. In actuality, she got away from her family, and it was accident. She's home now, with an added measure of security brought by the newly implanted microchip.

Darla's story is a prime example of the ever evolving mission at Angels of Assisi- keeping pets with their families, making them safer, and out of our local pounds. We wish Darla a happy and long life at HOME, where she is very much loved.

January 28, 2014

50 Shelters From Across The Nation Competing To Save More Lives....

We’re Up to the Challenge! Are You? We have some amazing news!Angels of Assisi has just been named one of only 50 shelters in the country to compete in the fifth and final 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. We’ll be competing by getting you, our community, involved in helping us save as many more lives as possible this June, July and August than we saved last year. And while that will be an important win in and of itself, the stakes are even higher. Working with you to save more lives can help us earn anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 in grant money from the ASPCA so that we can bring more life saving and life enriching programs to our community.

Hundreds of shelters tried to get into this year’s $100K Challenge, and we succeeded. Now Angels of Assisi staff, volunteers and supporters are raring to get started on a successful campaign that will attract more volunteers and supporters, and make sure everyone in our community knows that this is the best place to find a new family member. In short, with your help, we’re going to save more lives than we ever have before! Thank you!! We can't wait to get started!

Read more about it here:

January 27, 2014


A weekend email:

I currently work at an animal hospital and there is a wonderful dog that has spent his entire life in a rabbit cage so small that he couldn't even stand in. He is now very malnourished and has horrible sores from not being able to move around. If you all pick up animals from shelters to adopt for better homes we would be so appreciative.

He's already improved some, and the photos are blurry because he is so happy to be around people. Can you help?



After some discussions and additional information, Angels of Assisi is all set to take this former rabbit hutch dweller in. Right now, he is part of a court case, but we are trying to get him released as soon as possible. He's in need of a name, some direction on how to be a dog, medical care, patience, and a family, and we can't wait to meet him and get started.


January 17, 2014

The Life of Riley

A wonderful lady came in this morning and again this afternoon to meet one of our very special dogs. Riley was found a few weeks ago in horrible condition, and had many of her teeth removed due to hair matted around them- yes, hair matted so badly it was even in her mouth.

As adoption forms were being filled out, I asked the lady if she had seen Riley's  "before and after" photo. Her response was one that we have heard before, and makes our hearts happy:

"Oh honey. Yes. That's why I am here".

Riley's headed to her new home, equipped with sweater, bed, blanket, and her very own girl. Thank you to all who see, feel, and act, making this tough old world a much better place.

January 15, 2014


It's the time of year for new projects and evaluating existing programs. Angels of Assisi was founded in the year 2001 with a low cost spay/neuter mobile clinic, and a lofty goal of decreasing pet overpopulation and keeping companion animals alive.

We have never waived from that mission, or the absolute importance of spay and neuter. We have, however, learned along they way that there are many more pieces to puzzle, and the adoption center is an important one. Experts around the country have stated that communities need to "adopt their way to no kill" and we are firm believers in that powerful statement.

Trying to make that belief become a reality brought about key staff changes and a lot of hard work, and from the looks of things, it is paying off. The core adoption center team of Chelsea, Matthew, Bobbie, Bo, and Seph, combined with the best volunteer team Roanoke has to offer, made some tremendous strides in the year 2013.

The numbers give an easy, hardcore view of the progress that has been made, along with a wave of relief for every living heartbeat who has left our building. Thank you for making it happen, and know that you will be seeing additional changes in the adoption center in the next few weeks. We're gearing up for a major adoption challenge this summer.... so  stayed tuned, the best is yet to come.

January 1, 2014

Ringing It In

10 am on New Year's Day, 2014, was a morning not unlike many others. Our amazing Virginia Tech vet student was performing "intake" - shots, micro-chips, and heartworm testing on several of our new arrivals. The new guys include two labs who have spent the last year living out of a barn, a 3 month old pup who lost her physical home, and a stray cat found at the Troutville truck stop.

While they had their medical check ups, our other adoption center animals were fed, cleaned, and walked, and staff made plans for the upcoming week. These plans include some very important agendas for community pet life-saving programs, including pet retention, and we can't wait to get started. Here's to a wonderful, opportunity filled new year.