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Angels of Assisi sees improvement in 27 dogs rescued as part of Alleghany County hoarding case

ROANOKE, Va. – Staff at Angels of Assisi are excited about the progress more than two dozen dogs have made after being rescued from "horrific conditions” in Alleghany County.

While 27 dogs were rescued, Angels is now home to 29 dogs, as one of the rescues, Maria Francis, gave birth to two little girls, Beatrice and Gertrude.

Maria Francis gave birth Sunday night, Dec. 15, 2019, to Beatrice and Gertrude.
Maria Francis gave birth Sunday night, Dec. 15, 2019, to Beatrice and Gertrude. (Angels of Assisi)

While some of the dogs still remain nervous, a few are eagerly excited when a staff member or volunteer goes to greet them, according to Angels.

This change in behavior marks a big improvement from the first day the dogs arrived in Roanoke.

In connection with this case, authorities charged 57-year-old Robert Via with 63 counts related to this case: 21 counts of animal cruelty as well as 21 counts each of having dogs without licenses and rabies vaccinations. Via’s 25-year-old daughter, Kaytelyn Via, of 2015 Selma Lowmoor Road, is charged with 18 counts total: six counts of animal cruelty as well as six counts each of having dogs without licenses and rabies vaccinations.

The dogs will be available for adoption as soon as they are ready.


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