52,148
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.
Closed December 24-25.
 
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.
Closed December 24-25.

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.
Closed December 24-25.

Susan M. Markel
Veterinary Hospital

Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed December 24-25.

Admissions Hours
Mon. - Fri. by appointment.
Closed December 24-25.

Administrative Hours
Mon. - Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed December 24-25.
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ceo purrspective

February 2005

Dear Friend and Supporter:

The Richmond SPCA is embarking on an advertising campaign to spread the word about our aggressive spay/neuter program that will continue for the next three years. You may have already seen some of the billboards promoting our offer of free spay/neuter services to low-income pet owners and people who care for feral cat colonies. The offer even includes an offer to pick up the pet and redeliver him to the owner if that is what it takes to get the job done.

This effort is huge and goes well beyond what has been done elsewhere in the United States to date. We are doing it because we know that, to stop the ongoing killing of family pets in our community, we must get tens of thousands of animals sterilized and those surgeries must focus on the low-income parts of the community where the problem is the worst. We have recognized that a cost for the service, and that means any cost, acts as a deterrent. So does transportation for many pet owners.

But, cost and transportation are not the only problems. We in the humane field must acknowledge that, despite years of attempts to convince the public to take action on the spay/neuter solution, they have consistently failed to do so in adequate numbers. The primary reason that the spay/neuter message has never been absorbed and personalized by many pet owners is that it has not been conveyed effectively. By “personalized” I mean that people in many parts of the community, including the low-income portions of the community, have not seen this issue as being directly related to their own behavior. The failed ways of trying to get the message across have included the “educational” (read “boring”) message and, worse, the horrifying approach of showing piles of dead bodies and kittens being thrown in water. The truth is obvious: neither of these ways works and the result is that animals continue to die in great numbers unnecessarily.

We are trying to convey the message and the offer of our services in ways that will really motivate action. We had the wonderful help of Barber Martin Advertising in crafting this campaign which they generously did for us pro bono. I hope that you, our supporters, will understand that these ads are what the ad folks like to call “edgy.” That means they may raise a few eyebrows, including yours.

The simple fact is that the spaying and neutering topic is all about sex! It is pretty hard to approach it in a new and attention grabbing way without making sexual jokes. We have spent a considerable amount of time testing these concepts on various groups of people, both our target audiences and our donors, to find the ones that work but do not offend, or at least do not offend too much!

If you are taking the time to read this, you love animals and care about the suffering and loss of life of the ones whose only transgression is that they have no home. Please understand that we must get the message across in new and effective ways if we are going to actually stop the killing. While I do not believe that any of the ads is seriously offensive, they may, um, push the envelope a bit. I ask for your understanding and your help in getting others to understand that we are making the bawdy jokes in order to accomplish something that is deadly serious – to save our animals from dying.

Sincerely,



Robin Robertson Starr
CEO