Angels of Assisi offers help to pet owners facing eviction

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 2:05 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Angels of Assisi is working to help people and their pets who may face homelessness due to an upcoming end to a moratorium on evictions, set to expire January 31.

Their Guardian Angel program temporarily provides shelter and care for pets caught in domestic violence, homelessness, hospice care, hospitalization and mental health treatment. The animal is cared for while its owner receives help from a partnering human services organization.

“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.”

Angels of Assisi is currently working to expand the program, with the help of a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia. The organization said more requests for help have come in since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused an increase in evictions. More than 40 animals entered the program in 2020.

The organization said it hopes to help keep more people and their pets together during this “season of uncertainty.”

Vital to the success of the Guardian Angel program are the partnerships with other organizations. Angels of Assisi has partnerships with the Roanoke City Police Department, Regional Center of Animal Care and Protection, New Freedom Farm and Total Action for Progress - Domestic Violence Services.

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