For animals, group is angelic savior

Margaret Joiner put her personal feelings aside Saturday to save a life.

Joiner, who founded and heads Margaret’s Angel Wings for Animals, gave Baileigh, a white poodle she had fostered for three weeks, to his forever home during an adoption event.

“She just caught my eye,” said Cassie Kimball, of Maringouin, who adopted Baileigh. “I just thought she was so cute.”

While it’s not a rescue organization, Margaret’s Angel Wings for Animals assists rescue groups by transporting animals for them. Joiner’s mission is to rescue and find homes for dogs, from puppies to seniors, in kill shelters. The group also assists pet owners who need help finding a new home for their pet. Margaret’s Angel Wings for Animals will also foster animals, raise funds for rescue organizations and post photos of adoptable animals on social media websites.

The organization participated in Ponchatoula’s citywide garage sale in June and donated $1,200 to the Tangi Humane Society in Hammond, Joiner said.

Joiner’s love for animals began when she was just a child, but her desire to help save animals in shelters became a primary goal three years ago when she started Margaret’s Angel Wings for Animals, a name she chose for personal reasons.

“When people would help a dog find a home, I’d find myself saying many times, ‘You are an angel for animals — you have earned angel wings,’ ” Joiner said. “This name fit. There are many in rescue who have earned their angel wings.”

Back then, she worked full time as a teacher at Albany Lower Elementary School and helped transport animals on the weekends.

“You always miss them when they leave, but that just means there’s another little one in a shelter somewhere that needs a home,” Joiner said.

Today, Joiner works with about a half-dozen volunteers to transport animals whenever needed, she said.

The organization recently worked with a rescue organization to place 22 dogs that were surrendered by their owners from a puppy mill in Ragley.

“We met transporters in Baton Rouge and took three male Maltese dogs to APAWS and Creole,” Joiner said, she said of the Animal Protection and Welfare Society and Creole Poodle Club rescue organizations. “We later adopted the 5-year-old, 3-pound Maltese that Creole saved.”