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

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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.
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ceo purrspective

October 2004

Dear Friend and Supporter:

If you are over forty, I don’t have to tell you that aging is not a lot of fun. While there are some good things that come along with it – greater financial security, a sense of confidence and certainty about who you are and what matters to you in life, a better perspective on the small aggravations of daily life – the weakening of the body that you have always relied on is frustrating. We all know that we will get old and we all hope that our family and friends may be relied upon to support us through our later years. We also know that, despite the lessening of our physical capabilities, there are lots of wonderful things that we can look forward to having the time to do in our senior years.

Our pets are no different. I have loved a number of pets through the last years of their lives. I happen to adore older pets. They are sweeter, calmer and more loving than at any other time of their lives. I truly believe that, like people, they come to understand with greater clarity what really matters and they spend more of their time letting us know that. When they become sick and extremely aged, it is very painful to watch. I will never forget holding my beloved cat, Smokey, as she died and sobbing over her. But, with time and a little perspective, we realize that it is all part of the cycle of life. They give us such love and joy during life and then we must be their loving family to support and comfort them through the end.

At the Richmond SPCA, we have many people who seek to turn their pet into us because that pet has become old. They will couch their explanation in terms of the fact that the pet is not as reliable about his or her bathroom habits or the expense of the veterinary care is high. But the truth is that they are shrinking from dealing with the difficulties that come with their pet’s aging. This is a scenario that breaks my heart and that of all of our staff. We all love older animals, but we know that there is very little chance of that pet finding a new home. Adopters typically want a young pet that they will have many good years with. The truth is that, if the owner who has lived with that pet for the last dozen or so years is not willing to care for him or her, it is unreasonable for them to think that we are likely to find someone else who will do so. Yes, there are a few such wonderful people on this earth but not many.

And, so, I appeal to every one of you reading this. Help us to convince people that caring for a senior pet is one’s life’s important responsibilities. That pet has given his or her owner years of love and joy and companionship. It is now time for the owner to be a true friend back. The rewards of doing so are many – the pet will be even more of the loving companion that he or she was when younger. But the greatest reward is more profound – it is the deep sense of comfort, consolation and pride that you have when that pet leaves you and you rest assured that you were a truly loving pet guardian who gave all the love and tender care that you will hope to receive yourself when your time comes.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer