UPDATE: Previous owner charged after dog found malnourished, tied to pole at park in Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

(Photo: Courtesy Angels of Assisi)

CONTENT WARNING: This article contains pictures that some viewers may find disturbing.

UPDATE 3:59 p.m. (12/3/21): Thanks to information shared among the Roanoke Valley community, police were able to make some major progress in their investigation involving the dog who was tied to a pole in a Roanoke park with multiple health issues on Monday.

The Roanoke Police Department announced on Friday, Dec. 3 that tips led to the discovery of “Luna’s” previous owner, who has been charged and relinquished ownership of the dog.

However, police say the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Luna’s abandonment and physical condition is still ongoing as the pooch continues to receive treatment at Angels of Assisi.

“Again, we couldn’t have done this without the help and support of our amazing community,” the Roanoke Police Department wrote on Facebook Friday. “Thank you again for helping us and Luna.”

In their most recent update from Wednesday, Dec. 1, Angels of Assisi announced that Luna was still in critical condition, but she was moving around more easily and had more energy.

“We repeated her blood work early this morning, and while her kidney values have slightly improved, she is a bit more anemic,” Angels of Assisi wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “Luna is currently off IV fluids, and we are working on the best treatment options for her with her various health concerns.”


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Angels of Assisi received its seventh animal neglect/cruelty victim of the month on Monday. This time, the dog is in critical condition after being abandoned in a Roanoke park with multiple health issues, including severe malnourishment.

According to Angels of Assisi, a dog was brought in by Roanoke Animal Control on Monday, Nov. 29 after she was found tied to a pole in a park.

“We don’t know how anyone could leave her, especially in this horrific condition, but we will do everything we can to help her heal,” the organization wrote on Facebook Monday. “She is extremely malnourished and has Lyme disease that has started to affect her kidney function. She is in critical condition and is touch and go.”

Angels of Assisi says its medical team has set the dog up on IV fluids to help her kidneys and has placed her on antibiotics as they continue to run diagnostics.”

Then, on Tuesday, Nov. 30, the organization announced the dog — now named ‘Luna’ — is still in critical condition and on IV fluids at the hospital, but she seems more alert. In fact, she was reportedly able to go outside to go to the bathroom Tuesday morning, but she still isn’t capable of walking more than a short distance without help.

A spokesperson for the Roanoke Police Department, Caitlyn Cline, told WFXR News that nobody has been charged in connection with Luna’s treatment. However, the city’s Animal Wardens are currently developing a case as they investigate the incident.

“We do have to wait, to a certain extent, on the outcome of the dog’s health,” Cline said.

If you have any information about Luna, her owner, or where she came from, you are asked to call 540-853-2711 and leave a message for Senior Animal Warden Jenkins.

Luna is one of seven dogs brought into Angels of Assisi during the month of November who suffered from abuse, cruelty, and/or neglect.

On Nov. 4, Angels of Assisi announced that ‘Jessie’ — a dog who was a victim of neglect — came to the Community Pet Clinic through Craig County Animal Control.

The dog was very underweight and had “a severe skin infection likely causing her enlarged lymph nodes and several open wounds across her body,” the organization wrote on Facebook.

As a result of Jessie’s condition, Angels of Assisi said they would take extra special care of her and then find her a forever home once she is healthy again.

Nearly four weeks later, Dayna Reynolds, a representative for Angels of Assisi, told WFXR News that Jessie was still very sick and receiving 24-hour care at Emergency Veterinary and Specialty Services of Roanoke while waiting on test results to come back.

Angels of Assisi took in five more malnourished dogs from Craig County Animal Control on Nov. 9, including a dog named ‘Charlotte’ and four puppies, all from the same living situation.

According to Craig County Sheriff Lloyd Craddock, the five dogs were discovered after deputies responded to the 500 block of Hunters Drive in New Castle for a report of an emaciated dog, as well as a follow-up to an earlier call about dogs running at large.

After authorities arrived at the New Castle address, they reportedly found an emaciated female boxer and four puppies, most of whom were emaciated, had fleas, and were suffering from other health issues. The dogs were taken in by the Craig County Sheriff’s Office and transported to Angels of Assisi.

When Reynolds spoke with WFXR News on Nov. 11, she said that Charlotte was anemic — likely from her fleas and hookworms — and she had a large open wound on her back, several others wounds on the rest of her body, and a prior injury on her hind leg that did not heal correctly. It is unknown whether those injuries were inflicted by a person or the result of improper care.

Charlotte was described by Angels of Assisi as “one of the worst cases of neglect/cruelty that we have seen come through our doors in a long time.”

(Photo: Courtesy Dayna Reynolds/Angels of Assisi)

Within a week of her arrival, though, the organization says Charlotte went home with a loving foster mom — who plans to adopt this sweet pooch after she heals up — and is steadily gaining weight thanks to her strict feeding regimen.

In addition, Charlotte now has two “fur brothers who are teaching her how to be a dog,” as well as her own Instagram account, according to Reynolds.

Meanwhile, Reynolds says the four emaciated puppies that arrived with Charlotte on Nov. 9 were also covered in fleas and full of intestinal parasites. In addition, the puppies turned out to have parvovirus, but the shelter staff noticed it quickly, isolated the puppies, and started providing medical treatment.

However, according to Reynolds, the puppies have healed and started growing after undergoing treatment for parvovirus.

On top of that, the puppies are thriving in their new foster home — to which they were brought late last week — and should be available for adoption in the next few weeks.

(Photo: Courtesy Dayna Reynolds/Angels of Assisi)

As of this writing, the Craig County Sheriff’s Office says animal cruelty charges have been placed in connection with the treatment of Charlotte and the four puppies. The case — which is still ongoing — is set to be heard in the Craig County General District Court.

Dozens of people have donated thousands of dollars to Angels of Assisi to support the care and treatment of these seven dogs. More specifically, donors have given $890 for Jessie’s care, $3,443 for Charlotte, $2,115 for the puppies, and $4,490 for Luna.

If you want to help these seven dogs and others like them get a second chance at life, you can contribute to the Biscuit Fund — which allows Angels of Assisi to rescue, rehabilitate, document, testify, and find loving homes for animals that have faced cruelty or neglect — in honor of Giving Tuesday by following this link.

There are also dozens of other animal shelters, humane societies, and SPCA organizations around southwest and central Virginia to which you can donate on Giving Tuesday:

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