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

December 2004

Dear Friend and Supporter:

This is an ad that recently appeared on Petfinder.com accompanied by a picture of a stuffed toy dog (I am not making this up):

Fluffy is a near perfect dog for the person who wants just that. He is about 10 years old, but looks identical to the time that he entered the world. His owner surrendered him for no other reason than that he was tired of looking at him. Fluffy is non-shedding so there will not be any dog hair in the house. He never gets up on furniture unless someone actually puts him there. He never begs for food and never needs to go for a walk. Fluffy is totally non-demanding. He has never had any illnesses or injuries which necessitated visits to a veterinarian. Fluffy never barks, has never brought in any muddy foot prints, never vomited on the carpet and never made any mistakes in the house. He never has a doggy odor and never needs grooming. Fluffy is the near perfect dog. However, he is near perfect, not perfect. His faults are that he never greets his owner like he thinks his owner is the best person to ever walk the earth. He never looks at you when you talk and cocks his head like he is really interested in what you are saying. He doesn't give a sense of warmth, unconditional love and loyalty. Fluffy acts pretty much like he is in a coma with his eyes open. But, for some people, he is the perfect pet.

Sometimes, it does begin to seem to us here at the Richmond SPCA that Fluffy is what most people want in a pet. They come in looking for a pet with a long list of “do not wants” that can pretty much eliminate every animal in our humane center. They don’t want shedding and they don’t want any pet over about three years and they usually have some gender preference that you can’t talk them out of. Because of the many exclusions, these people leave behind many wonderful animals that have so much love to give that their shortcomings would seem totally inconsequential if they were given just a chance.

But, of course, pets are like kids, and for that matter like every other member of our families. They mess stuff up, knock things over, get sick and just generally make life more complicated. Life would definitely be cleaner and neater without our pets. But, then, it would also be cleaner and neater without our kids or our spouses or our elderly parents, too. But, do any of us really want to live in such an antiseptic and lifeless environment? Where would be the joy and the meaning and the memories of life? It is truly out of life’s chaos that our memories are made. Our family lost our precious dog, McDuff, last fall and I thought my heart would break for months. I would give anything now to smell him or to have his hair on my clothes or have him turn over the trashcan like he always did. The happiness he brought to our lives more than made up for any trouble he caused, and he was a real troublemaker!

Life is very short and I imagine that, at the end of it, most people wish that they had spent more time loving their families and their pets and reveling in the fun times with them. The stains on the carpet really don’t mean a thing. So, at this holiday season, I hope that you will consider whether you have the room in your heart and your home for a pet or for another pet if you have one now. This year, you could give the most meaningful gift of all for the holidays, a lasting and loving home for a deserving pet that needs one. I promise you that, if you do, your life will have more messes and it also will have more love, joy and companionship.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer