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

April 2008

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

Love, not the kind in movies or songs but real love, is a remarkable thing.  As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, it bears all things and endures all things.

A remarkable family, the Birkitts, are a shining example right here among us of the fortitude and depth of real love.  On January 13, 2007, they lost their beloved son Johnny.  He was a great animal lover and left behind a mastiff that his parents have loved and cared for since Johnny’s death. 

The Birkitts, rather than wallowing in their grief, decided to do something meaningful for the animals that Johnny loved so much and, in so doing, to honor his memory and keep it alive.  They formed a team to run in our Dog Jog of 2007 in his honor, and they raised the most pledges for the benefit of the Richmond SPCA of any team in the Dog Jog that year.  I and several others of our staff members felt that, while they certainly would win the award for the most money raised, that award scarcely seemed adequate to recognize the real meaning of their act of devotion to their son and to what he cared about.  So, we established in 2007 the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award that would be given each year in Johnny’s memory to recognize the person or team that has displayed the greatest spirit for the cause of homeless animals.  Of course, that year, the award went to Team Johnny Birkitt.

In the intervening year, the Birkitts have become very much a part of our Richmond SPCA family.  They had a wonderful celebration here in honor of the placing of the plaque that will bear the name each year of the winner of the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award.  When their beloved bichon passed away, they adopted another one from us who seemed to literally have been sent to us specifically for the Birkitts. (Yes, you have that right: they have a mastiff and a bichon and everybody gets along great!)

This year, Team Johnny Birkitt was back in action with just as much devotion as ever before.  They raised the most in pledges again for the 2008 Dog Jog which was an absolutely amazing $15,000.  Their team came all decked out in yellow shirts and participated with enormous heart.  There is no doubt that Johnny’s memory is alive and vital and will always be.

This year, the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award was given to the wonderful folks who compose our Running Buddies program.  They come here several times a week with great devotion to run with our shelter dogs.  The Running Buddies are truly a testament to the spirit of this organization and to the cause of homeless animals.  They give our dogs exercise, attention and love with consistent devotion.  They are the embodiment of the award in Johnny’s memory. 

Every parent knows that John and Brenda Birkitt have had to bear the pain that that we all fear.  They have taken that pain and turned it into action that honors and preserves the memory of their son and gives life to the animals he loved so much.  And, that is what love is really all about.  They are a lesson to us all.

Robin Robertson Starr

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