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

August 2008

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

Summers are always stressful here. We are full to the gills with cats and kittens since cats do most of their breeding in the spring and summer months. Every summer, our staff is stretched to their limit trying to care for literally hundreds of small kittens, most of whom need to be bottle fed numerous times throughout the day and night and also must receive medications on a regular schedule. Many staff members take kittens home with them so that they can continue to feed and medicate them throughout the evening and night.

This summer has been like a usual summer on steroids. Not only has there been the usual deluge of cats and kittens, but we have fought WRLH Fox Television’s efforts to destroy a colony of feral cats that has lived behind their station and several other businesses on the same block for more than 30 years. We have been working with other local humane organizations to trap, neuter and return the adult feral cats of the colony and to trap, neuter and then adopt out the kittens that are young enough to be socialized. This important work has added considerably more burdens to our already substantial demands.

Remarkably, you never once hear a complaint from our staff. They do their utmost to save every life and care for every needy little one no matter how intense the demands become. Often, it seems that any dividing line between our staff’s work life and personal life is erased in the summer and they seem to just take it all in stride.

The only thing that can discourage and demoralize them is when members of the public expect our resources, whether that be money, human time, or space, to be limitless. Some people come to our doors with more kittens or cats when we already have hundreds in our care and are impatient and accusatory when we say that we are not able to take on more at that very moment. They suggest that we are somehow lazy or unwilling or, worst of all, uncaring. When this is said to someone who was up most of the night caring for underage and needy kittens, it can be tough to take.

This column is read by our best supporters, so I hope I may ask for your help in letting the rest of our community understand that saving every animal life possible and ending the loss of life of healthy homeless animals is dependent on the sincere efforts of all of our community not just the Richmond SPCA. Because of your support, we have considerable resources but they are not limitless. Our money and our space and, most of all, our human time and attention are finite.

While we are no-kill here at the Richmond SPCA, our proudest accomplishment is that Richmond has not seen a death of a healthy homeless animal anywhere in the city since January 2006. That success only happens if people in our community are willing to work with us. When they bring us a litter of kittens (or puppies) they found, we may need to ask them to provide foster care for that litter for a few weeks. Through our foster to surrender program, we provide great support to wonderful folks who will care for a pet or a litter in their home until such time as we have the resources to accept that pet or litter here for adoption. Their help is the only way we can have enough resources to go around.

We all know the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it also takes a community to end the killing of homeless animals. Every time of the year, but especially now, we need our community to shoulder the load with us. The truth bears repeating: the best shelter is a humane community.

Robin Robertson Starr
  • Click here to learn more about Robin and the Richmond SPCA's executive management team.
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