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

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Richmond SPCA

Humane Center

2519 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220

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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.
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Sun. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Donation Drop Off Hours
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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

March 2010

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

One of the things that I am most proud of about the Richmond SPCA is the number of animal lives that we save in quiet ways that do not evidence themselves in our statistics that are filed or that are reflected on our Web site. There are opportunities that come along from time to time to save animal lives and to act consistently with our mission and our core values in ways that are a little outside of our normal operations – and our staff makes use of every such chance. I would like to describe to you one great example.

Tamsen Kingry was contacted about a feral cat colony in Henrico County because the nearby residents were expressing unhappiness with the cats and indicating that they wanted them trapped and killed (or “removed” as they always say). The colony had long been cared for by a volunteer who had brought many of them into our clinic for our free spaying and neutering service for ferals. The environment was near many apartments and shopping centers which provided all of the essential elements for a feral colony to survive. Tamsen took the time to connect with every one of the neighbors (both all homes and businesses) to explain that the environment was one that would support a feral colony and, therefore, trapping the cats and having them killed was not only brutal but also would not solve the “problem,” as they saw it, since more cats would simply come in to fill the void and they would have to continue the lethal approach endlessly. She helped them to see that they could peacefully co-exist with a feral cat colony. She explained that a carefully managed trap, neuter and return program was the way to treat the cats with compassion, keep their numbers to a manageable level and remove concerns about rabies and unattractive behaviors.

Despite Tamsen’s patient efforts to intervene, it became clear that the neighbors and the caretaker were not getting along and had lost patience with each other. The situation had become quite combustible and the cats were likely to suffer. So, she went the very significant extra step that is outside our normal programs: she offered take over the oversight for the colony and arrange for a fresh caretaking relationship. The primary nearby business owner was agreeable, and so Tamsen put together a group of new caretakers with the help of Dr. Carol Dugan, a local veterinarian and cat lover with a nearby office. Between Tamsen and Dr. Dugan, they put together a schedule of wonderful new caretakers to feed and bring the cats in for surgery and rabies shots on a regular basis. Those new caretakers are now doing remarkable things for the cats and are striking just the right balance to keep neighbors happy and the cats healthy and safe.

This is a big win-win. The great winners are the cats whose lives are no longer in jeopardy. Our humane cause is also a great winner because more people have been educated about feral cats and are willing to live with them peacefully. The County is also a big winner because the right approach is happening in a private and cooperative way without these cats being brought to Henrico Animal Control with no possible outcome other than their loss of life.

All of these great results have happened because Tamsen was willing to put in more time, patience and heart than were absolutely required. She went the extra mile for the animals. The lives of these cats will not appear in our statistics but they were saved because of the quiet, great work of one of our wonderful Richmond SPCA staff members.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Richmond SPCA

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