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

August 2005

Dear Friend and Supporter:

As I write this, we are in the midst of “kitten season.” Kittens are everywhere. Our staff and volunteers are fostering litters at home, many requiring bottle feedings all night. It reminds me of that old Star Trek show called “The Trouble with Tribbles” when the crew of the Enterprise was knee deep in the adorable little furry animals who kept reproducing endlessly. Kittens are absolutely adorable, but there are still far too many of them. When I think of the mammoth number of spay/neuter surgeries we do here every month (about 900!), it amazes me that there still can be so many kittens born in our community every spring.

Working in our Admissions Department is a very stressful assignment any time of year. Tray Welch, who heads that department, is remarkable in his ability to remain polite, calm and patient despite the many challenging situations and people he must deal with. Kitten season is the real test of his coping skills. People arrive here with boxes of kittens that are the offspring of their cats that they did not have spayed. They also come with kittens that they found abandoned somewhere. They want to “drop them off” with no questions asked and walk out feeling OK about what they have done. It just does not work that way any more.

First, the people who have ignored our many offers to spay and neuter their cats for them are the ones who must accept personal responsibility for the situation that they have caused. For many years, we took their kittens from them without any hassle. After they left, we then had to take the lives of those kittens because the number that we were taking in vastly outstripped our resources to care for them or to place them. In 2000, we decided to stop taking more animals than we could responsibly care for because all we were doing was facilitating continued irresponsibility on the part of the people who allowed their pets to continue to breed. It is never easy, but we must help people who have permitted their pet to breed to understand that they must care for the offspring until we are in a position to accept the animals or they will have to find homes for them on their own. Only through this experience will they be motivated to be more responsible in the future.

Finding the answers are even more challenging when good-hearted folks find kittens that are too young to be adopted out and bring them to us when we are already totally full. We appreciate what these people have done but still may not have the capacity to accept these kittens immediately. Tray does his best to get the finders to provide foster care for the kittens for a while if we provide them with the food, medications and bottles that they will need. Sometimes they will. If they won’t, then our wonderful foster care volunteers and staff step in.

For many years, this organization and many others in the humane field lacked the courage to be honest with our community about the extent of the pet over-population problem and what would be required of all of us to resolve it with compassion and integrity. We now ask members of our community to actively participate in solving the dreadful pet over-population problem that was created over decades. We ask people to be patient, to act responsibly, and to not expect us to instantly take their problem off their hands by killing another innocent animal already in our care. We ask people with generous hearts to help us by fostering animals to give us time to open a space for them. Usually, they respond positively. The problem cannot be solved by this organization, or any other, alone. It takes everyone’s help for change to happen.


Robin Robertson Starr