A Roanoke-based animal shelter is preparing to help people who may face COVID-related evictions or foreclosures to not lose their pets as well. It is part of Angels of Assisi’s “Guardian Angel” program and is meant to provide care for pets of families needing temporary shelter — but where pets are not allowed to go with them. Angels of Assisi is using a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia to expand its program. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:
NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke, VA – On January 31st, the moratorium on evictions are set to expire, and many people and their pets will be left without a home.
To help keep people with their pets, Angels of Assisi has a program in place called Guardian Angel. This program provides temporary shelter and care to pets caught in domestic violence, homelessness, hospice care, hospitalization, and mental health treatment. While the owner is receiving help from partnered human service organizations, Angels of Assisi provides shelter and medical care to the pet. The organization’s focus is to put the owner at ease while getting the help they need, knowing that their pet is receiving quality shelter and medical care.
“Every day, there are numerous families at risk of being evicted,” says Dayna Reynolds, Director of Communications at Angels of Assisi. “We don’t want these families to face the heart-wrenching decision of choosing between a place to live and the pets they love. Through the Guardian Angel program, we can care for the pet while the owner gets back on their feet, with the hopes of reuniting them.”
Thanks to a $10,000 grant provided by the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia, Angels of Assisi is working on expanding to the Guardian Angel program as requests for help from pet owners have increased with evictions’ onset due to COVID-19. Just last year, over 40 animals entered into the Guardian Angel program. With the funds granted by the Community Foundation, Angels of Assisi will be enabled to help keep more people and pets together during this season of uncertainty.
Angels of Assisi has formed partnerships with the Roanoke City Police Department, Regional Center of Animal Care and Protection, New Freedom Farm, and most recently, Total Action for Progress – Domestic Violence Services. These partnerships are vital to the success of the Guardian Angel program.
If you or someone you know needs assistance through the Guardian Angel program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.