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 2006

Dear Fellow Animal Lovers:

I have been overwhelmed by the number of kind people who have expressed sympathy to me about our family’s loss of our beloved cat, Snap.  I wrote about her in a recent column and it seemed to strike a cord with many folks who have suffered the death of a treasured pet.  I thought that you might welcome an update on our newest family member.

After Snap died, we, like most people, said that we were not ready for another pet.  However, I have many more chances to see other pets than most people do.  One day in early August, I was in our Admissions Lobby when a rental agent for an apartment complex came in with a pet carrier.  She was very upset about having walked into an empty apartment after the departure of tenants and found a mother cat and three one-day-old babies that had been left behind.   She was dismayed to learn that people do this sort of thing. 

I looked in the carrier, and the little mom, no more than a year old herself, took one look at me and set up a ferocious purring.  She was very similar to Snap in appearance: a small, short haired, rather plain tabby.  Like Snap, she had been deserted by previous owners.  It was love at first sight for both of us.

We named her Audrey in honor of Snap whom we had always likened to a feline Audrey Hepburn.  Audrey spent a couple of months at the SPCA because she proved to be a very willing mom who would happily nurse kittens in addition to her own.  In the summer, such a mother cat can save the lives of many kittens who come to us too young to be weened but with no mother or with a mother too sick to nurse them.  She did great work for lots of little ones and then we took her home in September.

Audrey is a worthy successor who would make Snap proud.  She quickly established herself as the boss of all our other pets despite the fact that each of them outweighs her many times.  She is remarkably social.  The immediate purring on first sight that I had thought was intended for me personally turns out to be what she does with everyone.  She loves to be held and petted and insists on being on your lap wherever you sit.  When we eat meals, she sits in a chair at the table, looking like an additional guest who for some reason has not been served a meal.

In the nine years that I have been at the Richmond SPCA, I have come to realize that there are some people who will move away and desert a pet.  The fact that the pet is a sweet, well-behaved and loving one like Audrey makes no difference.  They will even desert a pet who is pregnant and clearly about to deliver.  But, I still find myself wondering whether the people who left her behind ever think about what became of her.  Do they ever worry about whether she survived? On the other hand, do they have any idea that the moment they closed the door and walked away turned out to be the luckiest moment of her life because she went on to a family who truly loves her?  Do they realize that the pet they tossed aside so lightly will enrich our lives for many years to come?  Probably not.

As I sit here with Audrey purring loudly beside me, I want to thank all of you who make the Richmond SPCA’s crucial work possible.  Because of your support, we are able to be the safety net for so many wonderful pets just like Audrey.  We are there to step in when they are in need and to move them on to a new and better life.  In the process, so many people benefit greatly.  Audrey and I thank you.  And, I know that Snap would thank you too.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer