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

May 2005

Dear Friend and Supporter:

In my eight years at the Richmond SPCA, I have marveled at the wide diversity of human reactions to the animals that many of us love to have as companions in our lives. Because I grew up in a family that loved animals, I still find it surprising that there are people who fear and dislike companion animals. But, the most shocking discovery to me has been the intensely negative reactions of many people to cats. These anti-cat folks seem to come in two varieties. There is the group that proclaims their dislike of cats with great intensity and their feelings seem to arise from a belief that cats are somehow evil. Then, there is the group that simply seems to see the lives of cats as being worthless.

I suppose that cats are a likely target for the dislike of some people. Cats simply are not the suck-ups to us that dogs are. They do not eat, sleep and breathe for our company and affection in the same way that dogs do. That is not to say that they don’t love us. I think they love people quite a lot but they are independent by nature. They want a certain amount of privacy and they always let us know that their affection does not blind them to our shortcomings. If you have a cat in your life, it is a little like your relationship with your mother after you become an adult. You know she still loves you very much but it is not unqualified anymore. She now sees your flaws with considerable clarity.

Probably, the greatest offense of cats in the view of many people is their ability to survive on their own. We humans love to be needed and are sort of annoyed that cats can get along without us. Feral cat populations exist in large numbers in our community and most others in this country. They are made up of cats that are the descendants of cats that were house pets but became homeless. Cats, being remarkably resourceful and self reliant, have been able to bind together in colonies and make it on their own. Their ability to survive under difficult circumstances can be truly astonishing. I have always been awed by their resilience.

The dislike of many people for cats combined with their superb survival mechanisms is probably why cats are homeless in greater numbers in most communities than are dogs and why they have benefited less from spay/neuter programs. Now, to my horror, I hear about proposed legislation that would permit the shooting of feral cats. Where does our callous selfishness end?

If we are going to stop using the killing of animals as our miserable and barbaric solution to their over population problem of our creation, then the most crucial step is to get both feral and owned cats spayed and neutered. For the month of May, which is the worst month of the year for the breeding of cats, the Richmond SPCA is offering free spaying and neutering for cats, all of them. No matter how much money you make, or how many cats you bring in, or whether they are feral or not, we will spay and neuter them for free. All you need to do is call us for an appointment (521-1300).

If you love and admire cats like I do, then please help us stop the killing by bringing as many of them in for surgery as you can. If you don’t like cats but you do have a heart, then you should help us too because this is how we can reduce their numbers without resorting to brutality.


Robin Robertson Starr