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

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Richmond SPCA

Robins-Starr
Humane Center

2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220
804-521-1300

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.
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Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity

ceo purrspective

June 2004

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

In my seven years in the humane welfare field, I have heard more often than I can count the statement from someone that they do not care about animal causes because there are human needs that remain unsatisfied and those causes should take priority. Both individuals and corporations engage in this assessment of the relative worth of causes, invariably with the result of placing the humane cause at the bottom of their list for support (or not even on the list). This need to compare the relative worth of causes is something that I find remarkably unproductive. I am particularly struck by the fact that it is almost always done so as to minimize the importance of animal welfare causes, rather than to disparage the value of the performing arts, or museums or gardens or other pursuits that could be characterized, unfairly in my view, as frivolous.

There are many causes and charitable pursuits that matter to a greater or lesser extent to each individual’s heart. Every one of them has a valuable role in improving the quality of life of a community and in inspiring people to think and feel in deeper ways. To demean or diminish the value of any of them or to suggest that one is “righter” than another is to get sucked into a sadly negative headspace.

There are many ways in which support for humane causes may be defended. Without doubt, the most accurate gauge of the compassionate nature of any society is how it treats those members who have the least power. To those of us, and I am definitely one, who always have a desire to root for the underdog, there is the motivation to care for the most disenfranchised of all – the animals. There is also the line of reasoning that cites the enormous amount of love, companionship and healing power that animals provide to people. And, of course, there are those who prioritize the responsibility that we have to take care for the animals that we have domesticated for our own needs and reasons. All of these justifications are valid – but why should we be made to feel the need to justify ourselves at all?

There are more than enough problems and suffering in the world to go around. Really, isn’t the point that everyone who has been blessed in some way should find the time, energy, money or all of the above to give back in that way that moves his or her heart. Why should we seek to demean or disparage any cause that results in our world being a better place with less suffering and more joy in it. Why must we be selfish about thinking that it is always our own needs that matter more.

Anyone who professes to care about improving the state of the world needs to get this one. Let’s stop criticizing the charitable causes of others but instead let’s praise anyone who is unselfish enough to give their time or resources to make things better for others. There are far too many people who take up space on the planet without giving anything back. The cause of animal welfare is as meritorious as any other – no more and no less. We have much to be very proud of and should never allow anyone to tell us otherwise.

Sincerely,



Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer