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 2006

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

Nine years ago, I left the law firm in which I was a partner and went to work at the Richmond SPCA for the well being of our magnificent companion animals because of the influence of one cat, our beloved Snap. It actually goes back to a beastly hot July day in 1991 when my husband and I took a walk on my birthday.  We passed a construction site and heard noise coming from a cardboard box that was on the ground and taped shut.  Inside, we found three kittens near death from the intense heat and dehydration.  We took them home, cooled them down, fed and watered them and named them Snap, Crackle and Pop.  The next day, I took them to the Richmond SPCA, an organization I had had no relationship with.  I was told that they had zillions of kittens and these three would likely be “euthanized.”  I was dismayed and took the three of them back home.  I found good homes for Crackle and Pop.  Snap became the queen of the Starrs’ home. 

Snap grew to be both elegant and adorable – the Audrey Hepburn of the feline world.  While she was just a brown tabby with no particularly distinguishing appearance, she had such grace and gentility that she seemed exquisitely beautiful.  She was always loving but reserved and very refined.  I came to realize that, because of humans and their shocking irresponsibility and brutality, Snap nearly died.  I began to read more and understand the factors causing the enormous loss of life of dogs and cats.  I was horrified to recognize that I myself had grown up in a family that bought puppies from breeders while magnificent animals like Snap began life with little or no chance.  We loved animals but we had no comprehension of their plight.

With a raised consciousness, I sought election to the Board of Directors of the Richmond SPCA.  After joining that Board, I became more deeply committed to animal welfare and more concerned about the sluggishness and inadequacy of the field’s response to what I saw to be a true crisis.  Millions of animals, just like my precious Snap, were dying every year for no better reason than they lacked a home. When my predecessor announced her retirement, I decided that I wanted to devote the remaining years of my professional life full time to this cause and I became the CEO of the Richmond SPCA.

A few days ago, on another hot July day, our beautiful and precious Snap died of cancer at home at 15 with our family around her.  I cannot even type those words without tears welling up in my eyes.  She transformed my life.  Because of her, I came to understand the suffering that we humans have selfishly inflicted on our wonderful companion animals. Because of her, I will continue to struggle against the people who disparage our mission because they only care about people and do not believe that animals deserve our support and defense.  Because of her, I will continue to pressure the people in the field of animal welfare who are content with the status quo and make no effort to change old behaviors that have produced nothing but more and more carnage.  I will also find the strength to deal with the jealous, the insincere and the dysfunctional.

Snap had a good, long and full life with a family who adored her and, in that, she was very lucky.  But, the truly lucky one on that hot July day was me.  Snap was a birthday present that set my life on a different course.  She transformed both my life and the prospects for life of thousands of other wonderful but homeless animals.  She will always be alive, young and beautiful in my heart and my memory, and I will never stop hearing her message.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer