May 25, 2014

Doing Good

Here's a little story about a dog named Sadie, and a girl named Laken. Sadie came to us from Botetourt County animal control, thin, terrified, and a collar embedded into her neck. With the backing of the Biscuit Fund for abused and neglected pets, she got the medical care she needed and went up for adoption.

Enter Laken, who fell in love her at first site. She filled out the adoption papers, not knowing that had it been a different rescue, or a different time at our rescue, she would have been denied. Was Laken a bad pet owner, a bank robber, or a car thief? Not even close. She was a college student, and carried the stigma that she was too young to adopt a dog.

Fortunately, Angels of Assisi had been coming around to a different way of thinking, and the adoption papers were signed. From day one, Laken brought out the best in Sadie, and we loved seeing the photos roll in, especially those that showed the gentle care she took to cover Sadie's neck scars.


As time went on, Laken kept telling Sadie's story, emphasizing the happy ending, and building awareness for abused and neglected animals. She also did an amazing job at finding those animals new homes, and we've been so proud watching her bloom into a true advocate for those who cannot speak, done so with beloved Sadie by her side.

As Laken has grown, so has her advocacy, and last Friday she kicked off the inaugural Putts Fore Paws golf tournament to benefit the Biscuit Fund and the Guardian Angel program for pets caught in the middle of domestic violence.
The day was absolutely perfect, and made even better by the smile on Laken's face as the golfers kept coming and coming. Truth be told, there is no more humbling experience than to see how much work people put into hosting events that help the animals at Angels of Assisi, and how many people show up to support them, with Putts Fore Paws being a perfect example. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to all.


Laken is graduating from college today, and we're so proud to have witnessed her voice tuning up for a lifetime of ringing loud and clear, for those who need her most.

Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.
Minor Myers

May 16, 2014

The Angels at Assisi

Where did you get him?

In Ohio. They were going to eutanize him because he wasn't good enough for breeding. They need to get rid of those puppy mills.

He's a sweetheart. What's his name?
Patches. He's got extra parts, a blue eye, spots, and he's just all patched together. See there buddy? People really like you!


May 11, 2014

Mater Amoris

A lady showed up in our lobby a few days ago, clutching a small plastic pet carrier tied together with string. Peering out were 2 tiny puppies, and tears rolled down her cheeks as she explained that they were an accidental litter. Since then, she had their mom and dad spayed/neutered, and had contemplated keeping the puppies. As her tears intensified, she asked us to take them, because she wanted her babies to have the best chance at a better life.

We did take the puppies, and they have already been adopted by new moms who can give them what the lady in our lobby could not.

 On today, Mother's Day, we'd like to give a special acknowledgement to those who have loved someone enough to give them a better shot by letting them go, and to those who ever so gratefully scooped that someone up, the ultimate gift, and gave them the world. Both parties loved differently, but enough to put their personal needs aside. I know this because I, too, was adopted, and have felt the sacrifice, dedication, and love from both sides.

To all of those who have loved enough to hand over a precious life, and to all of those who gathered that life up and and made a family, this one's for you. Thank you for your kindness. 

May 9, 2014

Double Diesel

I've heard that people stay in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees.
It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. Place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this.
- Deb Caletti


The Guardian Angel program at Angels of Assisi was designed to give pets caught in the middle of domestic violence a safe haven. Diesel is benefiting from this program after his owner had the strength to jump out of her own pot of boiling water.

We're pretty certain Diesel was also harmed in the place he called home, and thus is also a member of the Biscuit Fund for abused pets.

Dogs, like people, react differently to long term abuse. Diesel is not the type to cower in the corner, but he is still hurting, and needs someone to give him time and patience until he can get his groove back. Fortunately, there is a program for that too, one that has a beautiful ring of hope and future to it, and it's called Fostering. Diesel needs to be a part of that program, and we'll give all the back up needed to anyone who can put a sparkle back in those eyes.

Thank you to the RCACP for letting us know that Diesel needed help and facilitating his transfer to Angels of Assisi-

May 8, 2014

The Angels at Assisi

Oh my goodness- what a dog!

Yes indeed- I think in a previous life he was a lap dog. He's my buddy and always with me.

What is his name, and where did you get him?

Dax. I got him from Germany. I am from there, and was back visiting. I had no intention of getting another dog, but, well, you know.... he needed me.

May 4, 2014

What's Wrong With This Picture?


This meme has been floating around social media for some time, often accompanied by a flurry of rants against mankind. I'm sure all of us here agree that dogs are not commodities. Here's the part of the quote where I have to strongly disagree:

"it doesn't point to a problem with the shelter, it points to a problem in the community"

Who is more responsible for the welfare of the animals in our community, than those hired to take care of them?

Would we be appalled if the Chief of Police shuffled off murders, rapes, and child abductions as a community problem? Or would we expect the police department to be implementing improvements?

What if social services put up photos of abused babies or homeless kids, threw up their hands, and said, "Well? Their parents are irresponsible, and we blame the community". Is that acceptable? Or do we hold social services accountable for providing shelter and solutions?

Our municipal pounds and rescue groups need to take a positive leadership role for the animals in our communities. It's our profession, one we have chosen, to take care of the abused, defected, and throw aways. Even more so, it's our duty to stop it from happening, and stop blaming the irresponsible public.

Just as our public offices have created neighborhood safety initiatives, reporting mechanisms, and programs to help men become better dads, so must we initiate pet retention, stop preaching about spay/neuter and do something to bring it to those who can't afford it, and creatively adopt out those animals who do end up in the shelters.

Last weekend marked the 3 year anniversary of some major changes at our community pound, the RCACP. Not too long ago, thousands of cast offs being killed were deemed a community problem because folks just weren't getting their animals fixed, and "there were not enough homes for them all".

Three years later, the RCACP allows volunteers, adoptions, and attends events. The live release rate- the number of animals leaving the pound alive- has increased dramatically. On the flip side, the number of animals entering the pound has decreased, combining for a true formula of success. Those stats are a result of admitting we had a problem at our shelter, then working hard to come up with solutions.

We are extremely proud and grateful to those who got us to this point. Our goal at Angels of Assisi is to continue to work on shelter prevention (keeping animals in their homes and out of the pound), and commit to finding homes for the ones who do end up homeless. It's our chosen profession, our job, and our duty. But mostly, it's just plain fun.