Jun 13

Taking It to the Streets!

Angels of Assisi is launching a new community outreach program to provide free services to low income communities, called Angels in Action.

This program is modeled after the Humane Society of the United States "Pets for "Life" initiative, with the goal of providing veterinary services directly to low income communities.  This program has been very successful in large cities, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Angels in Action will provide ongoing neighborhood outreach and offer free or very low cost services including humane education, spay/neuter surgeries and wellness care.

The program is based on the fundamental understanding that where there is human need, there is animal need. To respond effectively to this, outreach efforts are focused on an audience that has the least access to information about animal wellness. Angels in Action embraces the human component by approaching people in a respectful way and recognizing that people love their pets, no matter what their socio-economic circumstances or cultural differences may be.

Staff and volunteers will get the word out by canvassing targeted neighborhoods, and begin with a partnership with the Roanoke City Fire Department on June 29 (2013).  Angels of Assisi will be providing free rabies vaccinations and spay/neuter vouchers. Free pet food and other products will be donated by Purina.

Member One Federal Credit Union has provided tremendous marketing and branding support, and Animal Farm Foundation has awarded a grant to help start the program. This innovative program has been made possible by the generosity of the community and the support of our amazing volunteers.

Lisa O'Neill, Angels of Assisi, Roanoke, Virginia


Your Gift Brings Hope

Your contribution to Angels of Assisi funds low cost spay/neuter programs, provides food, shelter, and medical care to pets in need, and helps with animal rescue in our community. Together we can make a difference!  Please click on their website to see how to donate on-line, or where to mail a donation. Also, there is also a wish-list of items they can use if donated!

Thank you for caring about the animals!  This group helps so many, just in the past week, Assisi has responded to two requests for help that I forwarded to them. One involved providing a leg amputation for a dog with a gunshot wound, a dog that was loved by his owners but they simply did not have the money to have the surgery done at their regular veterinarian in a large city in North Carolina. I think they were amazed at the kindness they received at Assisi, who did the surgery for a very low cost and allowed them to make payments since they had already exhausted their funds in veterinary care for their dog just keeping him alive the first 24 hours or so after the injury.  Assisi is also providing heartworm treatment for sweet Mollie, the older Siberian Husky we are fostering (see my last blog post). Please give, remember even $5 donations all add up!   Thank you to my friend Lisa O'Neill for her guest post above.

Feb 13

Please Save a Life--Love a Hound

IT IS TRUE - Hounds of all shapes and sizes make WONDERFUL pets!  This is an URGENT post, will you please help me network to save a life today?

Take a look at this first photo (below)  Wow, isn't this just a GORGEOUS dog?  Her name is Kam. Unfortunately, her life circumstances have landed her in the Regional Center of Animal Control and Protection, so she needs help QUICKLY....either someone to come and give her a forever home, or an open spot in an ethical rescue organization. Right now, Angels of Assisi is full but they are networking to try to help her.  Here is the write-up posted by a volunteer:  "My name is Kam. I am a loving, four year old tri-color hound, who will climb right up in your lap!  I get along GREAT with other dogs. Being a hound with a huge scent-drive, I do need to always be leashed or confined in a very secure fence so I don't stray again once I find my "fur-ever" home.  I have been here since the end of December, so I would really, really love to go home soon.  Won't you make an appointment to come see me?  I would love to be part of your family!  Love, Kam"

Please note that all meet and greets with the Regional Center for Animal Control & Protection are by appt only. Before adoption, all pets are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and microchipped. Tam is currently still at RCACP and is in danger of euthanasia. If you are interested in saving her life by adopting her, or if you are with a rescue organization, please contact the RCACP Front Desk at 540-344-4922, Ext 2 or 6.




Say hello to Hand (pictured below)  short for Handsome! This mellow sweetheart is good with other dogs and loves people. He's clearly never been told how special he is before and is still surprised and delighted when people give him attention and affection. Hand definitely has 'loyal and grateful best friend' written all over him! Thankfully, Hand is safe, as he is at Angels of Assisi, but he has been there since last May, so he really needs a real home to love him and give him individual attention.

He's quite willing to go on a long walk or jog with you, but would also love to just snooze away the afternoon on your couch. At the moment, he is taking it easy while being treated for Lyme's disease, and allowing his swollen joints to heal, but eventually he will be up for hiking and jogging again.  Hand is close to being housetrained at the adoption center and will bark when he needs to go outside, however he is not a big barker in general. Volunteers tell me that he simply makes very sad "mournful hound sounds" when you walk by his run, in hopes of getting you to take him out or come into his pen to love on him!   Life has gotten much better for this mellow sweetheart since arriving at Angels, but there's still one thing!

To check out this cutie in action, just click on and scroll down to Hand's page, and you'll see a link to his video on the bottom right.

Angels of Assisi's adoption center is open from 2 pm - 6 pm everyday! They are located at 415 Campbell Avenue SW in downtown Roanoke, a block from the Police Station.

Please, HAVE A HEART FOR A HOUND, and forward this post to everyone you know!  If you cannot adopt, you can donate or at the very least, you can help by networking so that by working together, we can help find homes for these very deserving dogs!

My computer is acting up today, but after reading the stories of these dogs, I did not want to wait to let you know about them. I hope to be able to get the computer to help me make things look better on the blog soon, but who knows, maybe by then, these two special dogs will have already found loving homes!  Thank you, Angels of Assisi ( for everything you do.


Jan 13

Storm's Story....the kindness of strangers

Depending on the Kindness of Strangers

To paraphrase playwright Tennessee Williams, we all depend on the kindness of strangers.

Driving through Farmville on U.S. 460 one cold wet afternoon, I saw a miserable big white dog sitting on the roadside. I stopped the car and he ran to me.

He didn’t know how to get into a car and he lunged back into the traffic lane. Fortunately a state trooper was there, and he stopped his car and flashed the lights, creating a safe space for me to pick up the dripping dog and place him in the backseat.

I stopped at a vet’s office. No collar ID, no microchip. I funded his rabies shot, heartworm test, general worm test and medicine for general worms. We discovered he was a young, intact male, 60 pounds, husky mix, with beautiful blue eyes.

The dog appeared friendly. At home, I took away his food bowl while he devoured what may have been his first meal in days, and he didn’t blink an eye.

I called him Dog, and over the next few days I learned that even when rain poured he wouldn’t enter the doghouse. I put his food bowl in there, and he moved it outside. He jauntily trotted around my backyard.

Calls to determine the dog’s owner proved fruitless. Local rescue groups had no room for him, and I wouldn’t take him to kill shelters. While I fell in love with the affable, handsome behemoth, I couldn’t keep him. My dog Misha curled her lip at him, saying, “Not another one!”

I sent emails out into the universe searching for an adopter or rescue. Two days later, someone I never met from Orange County told me she would foster Dog until the Orange no-kill shelter admitted him.

The next day, I drove two hours to M’s house, Dog quietly looking out the back window. M lived in a tiny house with a mob of border collies and poodles, and she would crate him for hours, a risky proposition for a dog who wouldn’t even use a doghouse.

M soon realized her miscalculation, and moved the newly renamed Storm to her friend’s farm with an indoor/outdoor kennel. The next day, the Orange no-kill shelter took him.

All seemed well until Storm’s neutering. M emailed that after surgery he returned to the shelter fine, and then crashed. Animal Control rushed him to the vet’s office, lights flashing and sirens wailing. The vet determined Storm suffered from a blood clotting disorder, and the shelter director drove him to a Charlottesville clinic specializing in internal medicine. At arrival, Storm was in deep shock and nonresponsive.

The clinic threw platelets and blood transfusions at Storm, and after some hours he raised his head. By morning, Storm wagged his tail. M reports that he’s “an excellent patient.”

As of press time, Storm’s condition was guarded; the clinic believes he’ll make a full recovery. If he does, he’ll need the kindness of one more stranger to offer him a good home.


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