50,136
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

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 MESSAGE

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

It is that time of year that we in the field of animal welfare call “kitten season” and that the rest of the world calls “summer.” Because cats are very seasonal in their breeding and because our progress in the spaying and neutering of cats has not advanced as far as it has for dogs, we still see enormous numbers of tiny kittens in desperate need during the hottest months of the year. We have made considerable spaying and neutering progress that has caused kitten season to start a bit later with each passing year – but it still arrives and it has definitely arrived for 2010. These kittens come to us by the hundreds and they are very young, many of them too young to eat on their own, and often small and weak. Lots of them need the nursing care of a mother but they arrive without any mother. So, they need focused and patient care of dedicated humans for a period of a few weeks so that they can grow big enough to be spayed or neutered and adopted to permanent homes.

Last year, we succeeded at our pledge to save the lives of all the neo-natal but otherwise healthy kittens in Richmond. It was a tour de force of life saving requiring an enormous amount of help from our base of foster care volunteers. This year, we have expanded that pledge to also include the neo-natal kittens from Hanover County.

The key to being able to provide this life saving care is having a large and effective foster care program. These tiny kittens must get out of the shelter environment because they are too young to be fully inoculated yet from the various diseases that can be present anywhere that lots of animals are. They need to be in a nurturing home environment. They need people who will focus for those crucial few weeks on making sure that they get all of the physical nourishment and loving socialization that will help them grow into wonderful companions for people. Once they are about seven or eight weeks, they can come back to the shelter, be spayed or neutered and adopted to a permanent home.

If you read the news coverage of our recent experience with trying to create a partnership with Chesterfield County that would save more homeless animals' lives in that county, you probably noted that one of the main issues discussed was the resistance of those who oversee Chesterfield Animal Control to the idea of creating a foster care program for the animals in the care of the County. Foster care is essential to effective life saving for many groups of pets in need (sick and injured adults and ones with treatable behavior issues are among them) but none need it so much as the category of tiny kittens during the summer months. Without foster care, there is no way to get all of the neo-natal kittens in need cared for during the crucial few weeks of their early life that are essential to providing a bridge to a long and good life for them.

The wonderful people who provide that life sustaining bridge as our foster care volunteers deserve our deepest gratitude. We are also immensely grateful to the people who donate money to help us provide all of the medications, food and other essentials for the kittens that are being fostered. These tiny kittens will get to have a life because of them. If you would like to become a foster care home, please e-mail Tameka Peters at tpeters@richmondspca.org. If you would like to donate to help us provide these tiny kittens with all they need to sustain them during these crucial weeks, please click here. My deepest thanks for helping us to give them life.

Sincerely,

Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Richmond SPCA

  • 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.