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

November 2005

Dear Friend and Supporter:

Usually, when I write this column, I am sharing my thoughts on an animal welfare topic with you. This time, I ask that you share your thoughts with me.

We have made remarkable strides in Richmond in saving the lives of homeless animals in the last several years. Since 2001, we have cut the number of animals dying in half. We are now saving the lives of almost every healthy homeless animal and of many of the ones that are sick or injured but treatable. Our goal for the next few years is to find the ways to save the lives of every healthy animal in the counties as well and more and more of the treatable animals too. We are committed to achieving a community where healthy and treatable animals are all guaranteed loving and responsible homes.

In order to achieve this goal, we must find the way to get many more people to adopt their pet from the Richmond SPCA or from another humane organization or pound. We have to crack the code on how to reduce the purchases of puppies and kittens from breeders and other retailers and convince those people to adopt a homeless pet instead. Surveys reveal that the most common place for someone to obtain a new pet currently is from a neighbor or an acquaintance who has a dog or cat that has recently had a litter, whether pure bred or not. I am convinced that most people who acquire their new pet this way simply do not realize how negatively this affects the homeless animal problem in our community. I doubt that they would do this if they realized that it results directly in the deaths of other homeless and equally deserving pets.

Of course, these puppies and kittens are adorable and the situation is in no way their fault. However, the fact remains that every time someone who has either allowed or intentionally caused their pet to breed is rewarded for having done so by successfully selling the resulting litter, then that person is encouraged to continue this process. The result is that an animal who is sitting in a shelter or pound, and could have benefited from that possible home, will lose his life instead. There are only a finite number of homes to go around, and, if there are too few of them, as there currently are, then it becomes a deadly game of musical chairs. Only the lucky few get a place and the others die.

I solicit your ideas on how we can convince people to choose to adopt a pet in need. Do they refrain from doing so because of fear that a shelter pet is somehow going to have health or behavior problems? Or do they just prefer the idea of a puppy or kitten? Is it that they find the prospect of coming to a shelter depressing, or that they simply do not know where we are? How can we change their minds? How can we inspire people to see adoption of a homeless animal as the very best way to bring a new pet into their life?

This is an issue of crucial importance. We can only save another life when a pet is adopted from us opening that space up for another one in need. For every person we can convince to give a home to a shelter pet, we save that life and the next one that we can now bring in – it is just that simple. Please e-mail me at ceo@richmondspca.org and give me your thoughts on what we should do to change the hearts and minds of more people about adopting shelter pets and thereby save more lives.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer