message from our chief executive officer
Dear Friend of the Richmond SPCA:
The Richmond SPCA ended its 2015-16 fiscal year with the most remarkable record of life-saving progress and accomplishments ever. As I look back over the course of those twelve months, it amazes even me and I participated in all of it! We have had some great years in terms of mission accomplishment, but none that has surpassed the remarkable forward progress in the breadth and the success of our efforts to save and protect animals that occurred in the year being reported on here.
The annual report below, which Tabitha Treloar prepared with accuracy and clarity, provides the specific information about the quantity and quality of the work we did for animals in the fiscal year most recently ended and our use of our financial resources. We believe deeply in the importance of transparency with regard to our use of the generous support provided by our donors and volunteers to achieve life-saving results for the animals who are the heart of our mission. Every non-profit organization, no matter how small or large, should provide such transparency to the people who compose its support base.
Please scroll below, or use the navigation menu at the top, to see the actual statistical results. While there were many wonderful moments and notable successes during the fiscal year most recently ended, I think that the most meaningful highlights are as follows:
- The first highlight on this list has to be the fact that the life-saving we accomplished for animals was the greatest ever. This is the very core of our mission and we delivered on that mission to a greater extent than ever before. In total, the number of animals we brought into our care grew by about 10 percent over the prior year. We cared for more animals (4,305) and adopted out more animals (3,848) to responsible and loving homes than we have ever done before. Our adoption number reflects an increase of more than 200 over the prior year, thanks to the work of our remarkable adoption staff led by Carly Sgueo and Timothy Joyner. (Please note that the apparent difference in the number brought into our care and the number adopted out is attributable to those on hand in the shelter at year end.) We brought the greatest number of animals ever into the safety of our care from shelters across Virginia (2,471 animals from almost 50 Virginia shelters where their lives were at great risk). Our lifesaving success rate for all of the animals that came into our care was in excess of 99 percent (and when I say all, I mean all – this percentage is based on every single animal coming into our care regardless of age or health condition).
- We recognize that our ability and dedication to provide rehabilitative care to sick and injured animals is exceptional and this work is mission critical because sick and injured animals are the ones at the greatest risk of dying in other shelters. Our intake of sick and injured animals in the fiscal year just finished increased by about 20 percent over the previous year with nearly 3,000 such animals coming into our care. Without us, these animals would most likely have died but, because of us, they will go on to have a happy and healthy life with a loving families. Nothing could matter to us more.
- We greatly expanded the reach of our intake to more animals whose survival depended on us. We maintained most of our existing transfer relationships while starting new transfer relationships with 25 more shelters where the loss of life is typically very high. Most of the shelters from which we transfer animals are in Virginia. We transferred 180 animals from Danville Humane alone where the euthanasia rate has generally been extremely high before our help to them. We also took into our care many pets who were in shelters in areas outside Virginia experiencing natural disasters and many pets from horrific hoarding situations. We rehabilitated their medical and emotional traumas before placing them into the first safe and responsible homes they have ever known.
- A moment of enormous fulfillment occurred in January when we moved into the new, gorgeous Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital. We have worked for years to raise the money and we completed the construction on this wonderful new veterinary hospital in January 2016 that allows us to provide a community service for animals that is exceedingly rare across the country. We can now provide full service, high quality veterinary care at a very low cost to the pets of low income guardians in much greater volume than in our small clinic in the past. We are everlastingly grateful to the Markel family and to all of the other generous donors to the campaign who have ensured these pets will be able to access essential medical care that will spare them unnecessary suffering and death and will keep them in the loving homes they have.
- Phase two of this building project for us, which will be completed in the 2016-17 fiscal year, is to renovate what was the former clinic space in our humane center into a dedicated admission wing named for a wonderful Richmond SPCA adoptee Wilma. This will enable us to bring newly arrived animals into a space intended for their initial care while we assess their health and personalities and will allow us to accept into our care a greater number of the sick and injured animals who need us so much.
- We were voted by the readers of Virginia Living as the best charity of any sort in central Virginia. The readers of Richmond Magazine named us the Best Place to Adopt a Pet. This wonderful acknowledgement of the Richmond SPCA means a great deal to us. We are deeply committed to maximizing the number of animals’ lives that we save and protect with each dollar given to us, and we are rewarded that the people of our community recognize the efficiency, quality and integrity with which we do our work. We are also deeply gratified that our community values the importance of the mission of saving animals’ lives.
- Our leadership in advocacy for animal welfare issues is of paramount importance to us since those activities are proactive for improving the long term prospects for compassionate and ethical treatment of animals. We were a visible and strong presence at the General Assembly in 2016 preventing an effort to gut Senate Bill 1385, which had been passed the prior year. This law requires that all private animal shelters in Virginia have as their purpose the adoption of companion animals to permanent homes. We believe that Virginia donors to private animal shelters have a right to expect that such shelters will make a sincere effort to place the pets in their care in lasting, loving homes. The sole Virginia private animal shelter that we believe is not meeting this standard currently is PETA at its facility in Norfolk where the vast majority of the dogs and cats are put to death. We will continue to serve as the strong, courageous and effective voice for protection that animals need to have in Virginia regardless of the size, wealth or power of the opposition we may face.
Thank you for reading this brief synopsis and please take the time to scroll down and review the actual statistical results that demonstrate the great outcomes for animals that we achieved with your generous support in the 2015-16 fiscal year. We are deeply grateful for the crucial help that you give us. I could not be prouder to show you the remarkable tangible outcomes that we achieved for animals in the last fiscal year with the support you have given us.
The animals of Virginia need us so much, and we have made enormous progress on their behalf. But there is much more to be done and many animals who will depend on us to save them. The Richmond SPCA serves a crucial role in Virginia by saving the lives of animals in great need, providing the support that keeps pets in the good homes they have and pushing our state to care more deeply and be more humane toward all kinds of animals who have no voice without us. We count on your support to put us in the best possible position to save more animals’ lives and to speak out for them because it cannot be done without adequate financial resources.