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

February 2010

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

The Richmond SPCA has an intriguing and distinguished history and I have a long-standing fascination with it.  Any member of our staff can tell you that I always relish the chance to learn and talk about the history of this organization and the prominent leadership roles we have long played nationally and locally in the humane movement.  The Richmond SPCA is not only the oldest humane organization in Virginia, it is actually among the oldest humane organizations in the country.

The humane movement began in the United States shortly after the Civil War due to the concerns at that time about the abuses being suffered by horses.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society formed in the 1870’s to advocate for the protection of the animals of New York City.  Contrary to the belief of many people, we have no organizational connection whatsoever to the ASPCA – we, like all other local and regional humane organizations, are not a part or a “chapter” of the ASPCA or any national group.  (The ASPCA offers shelter support programs nationally and continues to care for the animals of New York City in its shelters but does not oversee any other humane organizations.)

We know that the Richmond SPCA was founded as early as 1891 because we have documents to confirm that.  Accordingly, we have taken 1891 to be our formation date although there are folks who have told me that they believe that we are even older than that because of the existence of some newspaper reports indicating that events were being held for the support of the Richmond SPCA as early as the 1870’s. 

The Board of Directors of the Richmond SPCA has included some of the most illustrious and honored Richmonders.  In the 1890’s, Joseph Bryan, the founder of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Thomas Nelson Carter, the first cousin of Robert E. Lee, as well as A. B. Guigon and  B. Randolph Wellford, both prominent attorneys of the time, all served on our initial Board.  Later, in the 20th century, the great novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Glasgow became a leadership force in the organization for decades.  Miss Glasgow was a devoted animal lover and convinced many other prominent Richmonders to commit themselves to the stewardship of this organization.  As a result of her dynamic leadership, that other great Richmond novelist James Branch Cabell and the highly respected editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Douglas Southall Freeman were members of the Richmond SPCA Board of Directors.  Ellen Glasgow remained the President of our Board until her death and left the rights to her great works of literature to this organization in memory of her beloved dog Jeremy.

The Richmond SPCA has continued to live up to its great legacy during the 21st century.  Our Board had the vision in the late 1990’s to recognize that the no-kill movement was ethically compelling and would represent the way of the future.  Our Board acted on that vision with courage to make this organization a no-kill humane society in 2001 by being the first in the country to replicate the no-kill model that Rich Avanzino pioneered at the San Francisco SPCA.  Few organizations manage to remain leaders of a national movement for more than a century but that is what the Richmond SPCA has done.  We intend to continue to stay true to our remarkable heritage as a national no-kill leader for the protection of the animals who need us.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Richmond SPCA

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