ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Before this weekend’s pet adoption special, Roanoke’s Angels of Assisi was at capacity, but after the event, that was a completely different story.
Angels of Assisi’s director, Lisa O’Neill, says 10 dogs were adopted during the event, saying it’s important to make room in the Star City shelter for animals in crisis.
She tells WFXR News that full shelters is a national problem. As a result, on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9, all dogs could go to their new fur-ever home with a family for a reduced adoption fee of $50.
“We get calls and emails and texts in almost every day asking for help, sometimes as far away as North or South Carolina, where the shelters are really struggling,” said O’Neill.
According to O’Neill, those calls for help are really hard to turn down.
“We hate saying that we can’t help, so when we do things like this event and the community comes out and gets involved, everybody goes home with a new animal,” she added.
Winston was one of the dogs to find a home on Saturday.
“Of course, when we met him, he was a perfect fit for us,” said new dog owner Tammy Henderson, who mentioned that rescuing was very important to her because of the full shelters.
“What happens to the dog or the cat or the animal if people like ourselves don’t come down and give them a home that they are loved and treasured and will love us back,” she added.
So what is to blame for the full animal shelters? O’Neill says part of it is inflation.
“Sometimes something has to give in a family dynamic, and sometimes it’s the pets,” said O’Neill.
She says people are having a hard time with being able to afford housing so the pets are often surrendered to them. The COVID-19 pandemic is also to blame.
“During COVID, a lot of people were home, and now everybody’s kind of going back to work and it’s harder to have an animal that’s used to having their human home 24/7, so that’s a big change on the animal’s part and sometimes things happen,” O’Neill explained.
When things do happen, O’Neill says Angels of Assisi can help by providing low-cost vet services and pet food.
“You can say that animals are important to a family or you can say that animals are part of that family,” she said.
If you missed this adoption event, there are still plenty of four-legged friends in need of families, so you can check them out on the Angels of Assisi website.