51,031
pets' lives saved since becoming no-kill in
January 2002

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Richmond SPCA

Robins-Starr
Humane Center

2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220
804-521-1300

Closed Sunday, Sept. 30

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

September 2008

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

The communications that arrive in my various mailboxes are a constant source of fascination. Some of it is delightful, some of it touching, some amusing and some just flat out disgusting, but they are rarely dull.

The messages that I most cherish are the ones telling me about a beloved pet that the writer adopted from the Richmond SPCA. Sometimes, I am told about a recently adopted pet who is already a treasured member of his new family and has quickly displayed funny, smart or adorable behaviors. The most bittersweet ones are the messages about a greatly loved pet who recently passed away after having given his adopter years of friendship, love and support. While tears have often come to my eyes when I read of the heartbreaking sense of loss these folks are experiencing, I also feel a deep sense of joy that this organization that I love so much and am so proud of has provided someone with a deeply meaningful relationship and a wonderful pet with a home where he has been adored for years.

There are some that are not quite so positive. I get some messages complaining about someone’s unsatisfactory experience with this organization. I always do my best to check out the allegations made in these messages recognizing that this organization, like every other one, makes its mistakes from time to time. The important thing is for us to make it right and provide our apology. Sometimes the complaint is not reasonable or demands something that is not consistent with our mission. But there are the times when a complaint has merit, and while admitting our mistakes is never fun, it always results in an improvement in our services.

The toughest ones for me are the nastigrams that I get from people who fundamentally disagree with the principles that guide this organization. Recently, I have gotten messages from people who intensely dislike feral cats and berate me for our having protected the colony of feral cats behind the Fox station. One of these was unintentionally amusing. It was written on a card with a cute picture of a bunny on the front and the words “Just A Little Note” printed in loopy script over the bunny’s picture. Inside, the writer told me that we should never defend feral cats because they are killers who “kill for sport.” I conjured an image of a small LED screen providing the current killing score of members of a feral colony with cheers for the home team like “Go, Scrappy, nailed another mouse!” No, it is only humans who could come up with the idea of killing constituting a sporting event.

Then, there are those that include profanity, some of it very nasty, in their criticisms of our efforts on behalf of homeless animals. I have long maintained the rule that I do not reply to any message that includes even one profane word. No one who communicates that way deserves a response. But, I do sometimes wish I could let these people know that their abusive communications only serve to confirm to me that our efforts to protect defenseless animals from these sorts of people are right and noble.

To everyone who tells me about what we have done that has made their life better and to everyone who tells me how we can better do the good work we do, I say thanks. And, keep on writing.

Gratefully,


Robin Robertson Starr
CEO

  • Click here to learn more about Robin and the Richmond SPCA's executive management team.
  • To view previous messages from Robin, please click here.
  • To provide feedback to Robin's column, please click here.