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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Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity

CEO purrspective

June 2008

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

There is a porch off our master bedroom that overlooks the James River and we have a couple of comfortable wicker chairs there for reading and, more often, sleeping. Last summer, I went out to sit in one of the chairs and discovered that a small bird’s nest had been built in the seat of it in the couple of days since I last was there. The bird who came and laid her eggs there was small and brown with a long pointed beak (I admit to little knowledge of avian species). For the first few weeks, she seemed to leave them for long periods of time earning her the name around our house of “Maizie the Lazy Bird” after the character in Dr. Suess’ “Horton Hatches an Egg.”

We stopped using the porch so as not to bother her but checked on Maizie’s nest often from the bedroom window. One night, we had a terrible thunder storm and the winds knocked Maizie’s nest over spilling the eggs into the seat of the chair. We dithered for a while about what to do but finally decided that they would never get hatched in the seat of the chair so we righted the nest, wedged it with a pillow to make it more secure and put the eggs back in it. Maizie returned within a couple of hours, settled in and rarely left the nest after that. Her chicks hatched over the Fourth of July weekend and flew off for their own lives a couple of weeks later. All of the Starrs were thrilled but also saddened to lose them as they had come to seem a part of us. When fall came, we cleaned out the nest and wondered how “our” little offspring were doing.

A few weeks ago, I went out to sit on the porch and was thrilled to find a new nest built in the same wicker chair. Sure enough, a little bird that looked exactly like Maizie appeared soon and, in a few days, three eggs appeared in the nest. This year, we did not wait for a storm but, rather, wedged the little nest securely with pillows soon after she constructed it. She has seemed delighted with the extra protection the pillows afford

For the second summer, we are unable to use our porch and nothing could delight us more. We check on Maizie regularly. She went through her usual period of being gone most of the time but now seems to have settled in for serious work. We all can’t wait to see the babies when they hatch.

Most of the animals on this earth manage their lives very competently on their own. For the most part, man’s activities damage their habitats and lessen their chances for survival. It is rare that we have a chance to provide even a small amount of help to the world’s wild creatures and deeply rewarding when we can.

I have no way of knowing if this is actually Maizie back for another year or one of Maizie’s offspring or just another bird of the same type. I like to think it is Maizie and that, maybe in the years to come, Maizie’s offspring will grace the Starrs’ porch with their presence every summer. It lifts our hearts to have them share our home. We never really needed to use that porch anyway!

Robin Robertson Starr

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