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.
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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Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity

ceo purrspective

February 2006

Dear Friends and Animal Lovers:

Next month, I will speak at the annual meeting of the Humane Society of the United States. Maddie’s Fund asked me to participate in a program on the Business of Saving Lives. The other participants are Richard Avanzino, the President of Maddie’s Fund and the former President of the San Francisco SPCA, and Jeanette Peters, Consultant to the Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project in Gainesville, Florida.

I am delighted about this opportunity both because I have such respect for my co-presenters and because of the importance of the topic. Our field must consistently adopt the rigorous performance standards that prevail in the for-profit business world if we are to make substantial progress toward saving the lives of all adoptable and treatable animals. When I first came to this field eight years ago, I was shocked at the pervasive attitude of resignation to the status quo and the unwillingness to consider other more challenging ways of operating. Although the old ways had produced miserable results by any reasonable measure (with ever increasing numbers of animals dying every year), there was an aggressive refusal to analyze those results and consider systemic changes that might save more lives. Despite great pressure not to do so, the Richmond SPCA made radical changes in our programs and policies in 2001 and have achieved dramatically better results for the community since then.

Anyone who runs his own business or who has worked for a large company knows that annual performance goals must be met or exceeded. There is no room for error because creditors, stockholders and customers see to that. People who consistently fail to meet goals usually end up with a pink slip. But, in the world of non-profits (not just ones in the animal welfare field), this is often not the case. There tends to be a culture of softness about performance. The irony is that, with more limited resources, we actually need to be even more rigorous about maximizing our results for the resources used. If the homeless animals whose lives are at risk had voices, they would surely be more demanding than any stockholder ever thought of being.

Every department at the Richmond SPCA has quantifiable performance goals set at the beginning of each fiscal year (e.g., animals adopted, dollars raised, surgeries performed). The head of the department is responsible for ensuring that the goal is met. We assess departmental performance at monthly meetings that include every employee of coordinator level or above. Last year, our spay/neuter clinic had an annual goal of 9,000 surgeries. After the first fiscal quarter, the clinic was considerably behind in meeting that goal. We analyzed the reasons and our Clinic Director Dr. Angela Ivey made many changes that produced greater efficiencies. The clinic ended the year having done 10,233 surgeries. Without a culture of discipline and rigor about meeting goals, this result would not have happened.

No donor should support an animal welfare organization, or any other non-profit for that matter, if it does not set quantifiable goals annually, establish priorities based on the achievement of those goals within defined time periods and publicly produce statistics reflecting their performance on a regular and frequent basis. If the established goals are not being met and excellent results are not being achieved, then prompt changes must be made to produce the required results. We have an obligation of productivity and accountability, not only to our donors and community, but more importantly to the animals who rely on us to save their lives.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer

And, to ensure that we practice what we preach, our 2005 results in major categories are set forth below.



Number of animals received – 2,510 (4% strays; 62% owner turn-ins; 34% from local pounds)
Number adopted – 2,431
Number kept out of any shelter through our behavior assistance and other support - 1,334
Number Euthanized – 22 (.8% of animals received)
Overall save rate for the entire City of Richmond – 73% (fourth best in the United States)
(“Save rate” refers to the percentage of homeless animals taken into any shelter or pound in the city that are released alive.)


Total Spay/Neuter Surgeries performed – 10,233
Spay/Neuter Surgeries performed at no charge – 3,765
(for pets of low income families and feral cats)


Hours of Children’s Humane Education delivered – 8,126
Hours of Adult Humane Education delivered (other than in Pet Training Classes) – 2,035
Number of Children attending Critter Camp, Summer of 2005 – 111
Hours of Humane Education provided in Critter Camp – 546
Number of Human Pet Training Class Students - 620
Hours of Pet Training Instruction delivered (i.e., obedience, agility and other classes) - 2,572


Total Budget for 2005 Fiscal Year – $3.4 million

Expense of Spay/Neuter Clinic - $1 million
Expense of Adoption Center Operations and Facility - $1 million
Expense of Humane Education Program - $250,000
Development Expense (including cost of the newsletter) - $250,000
(the remaining expense items were volunteer programs, retail operations, administrative expense, and IDA bond expense which totaled to $600,000)

Revenue Sources:
Public Support (annual fundraising, events, workplace giving, grants) - $1.7 million
Fees for Services – $480,000
Transfer from Endowment – $1.2 million