pets' lives saved since becoming no-kill in
January 2002

Hello! Woof! Meow!

(not required to
browse site)

search our site:

Like the Richmond SPCA on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Read our blog on typepad
Dogs available for adoption  Follow the Richmond SPCA on tumblr  Cats available for adoption
Richmond SPCA YouTube channel  Check out our photos on flickr  instagram

Richmond SPCA

Humane Center

2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220

Adoption Hours
Mon. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tue. - Fri. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sun. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Lora Robins Gift Shop Hours
Mon. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tue. - Fri. 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sun. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Donation Drop Off Hours
Mon. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tue. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sun. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Susan M. Markel
Veterinary Hospital

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admissions Hours
Mon. - Fri. by appointment.

Administrative Hours
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Donate Today
Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

I would like to tell you about Vernon Jackson because it is important to me that he be remembered. Mr. Jackson came to see me a number of years ago to tell me that he wanted to leave his estate to the Richmond SPCA. Mr. Jackson was not a man of great means. He had spent his working career as a fire fighter. He had been married, but no longer was, and had no children. He had had a dog, a Spitz named Stephanie, who was the greatest friend of his entire life. Tears came to his eyes when he talked about her. He said that she had given him much love and companionship and that they had just fit together perfectly. Stephanie had passed away a few years before my first meeting with him.

Mr. Jackson had clearly put a great deal of thought into how he could leave his estate so that it would both do some real good and would also be a lasting tribute to the dog who had been his best friend. He decided that leaving it all to the Richmond SPCA would save the lives of other animals and would help other people to experience having a wonderful pet just as he had.

Over several years after that first meeting, Mr. Jackson visited me numerous times. Each time, we talked about Stephanie and about how the money he would leave us could give a better life to homeless animals. He asked me to advise him how his bequest could have the most impact and I said that leaving it to be used for spaying and neutering would be the way for his generous bequest to do the most good for the most animals. We talked about a plaque to Stephanie’s memory that he would like to have hung at the Richmond SPCA. I tried several times to interest him in adopting another dog but, while he always enjoyed visiting with them, he never wanted to take one home.

About a year ago, Mr. Jackson died suddenly. It has taken a while for the estate to be finalized but we will soon receive the final distribution. In honor of Stephanie, Mr. Jackson’s bequest will be used to fund our spay/neuter campaign. It will allow us to spay and neuter many thousands of wonderful and deserving animals whose owners would not otherwise be able to afford the surgery. It will mean than tens of thousands of animals will not have to die in some shelter somewhere unloved and unwanted. It will mean that many homeless animals will have a full lifetime to give love and be loved, rather than have their precious lives cut short.

One person of modest means can make a very big difference for a cause about which he cares deeply. Vernon Jackson has left quite a legacy. He saved human lives as his life’s work, and he will save animal lives in his passing. I know that he would be quick to say that it is Stephanie’s legacy just as much as his. She is but one of the untold numbers of animals who have made the lives of people infinitely happier and more fulfilled.

Mr. Jackson and Stephanie always come to my mind now when we speak of the animal-human bond. There could never be a better example of the wonderful things that come from a great love between a person and a pet. The plaque in Stephanie’s honor will soon hang in our lobby but, plaque or no plaque, I will never forget them and I will always be grateful.


Robin Robertson Starr

Click here to learn more about planned giving.