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

Hello! Woof! Meow!

(not required to
browse site)

search our site:

Like the Richmond SPCA on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Read our blog on typepad
Dogs available for adoption  Follow the Richmond SPCA on tumblr  Cats available for adoption
Richmond SPCA YouTube channel  Check out our photos on flickr  instagram

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.
Donate Today
Charity Navigator: Four Star Charity
Phoenix was adopted in November 2010 after being saved from a fire and nursed back to health at the Richmond SPCA.
Phoenix was adopted in November 2010 after being saved from a fire and nursed back to health at the Richmond SPCA.


October 18, 2010

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

Viva Chile!  It was a cry heard around the world.  It was the cry of immense pride of the nation that saved its men – every last one of them down in that collapsed mine. Their courage, determination and dedicated team work over many weeks is what saved their countrymen.  The world watched in awe as they did it.  This world that has seen so much failure and scandal and disaster in recent times was moved. They did not leave a single man behind.  They gave us an example when we needed it.

The capsule that they brought the men up in was named the Phoenix. It provided an interesting parallel with what was going on at the Richmond SPCA where we had our own Phoenix.  He was a little kitten that somehow on his own walked out of the ashes of a burned house in Carytown.  He was extensively burned over a large portion of his tiny body but, like the miners, he too got out alive.  His guardian who had three other cats and no house any more made the understandable decision to relinquish him to Richmond Animal Care and Control.  He lacked both the financial capacity and the practical means (with no home) to provide for all of the rehabilitation and follow-on care that Phoenix would need.  RACC immediately called us because they also lacked the resources to provide the care that Phoenix would need to survive his injuries. 

The Richmond SPCA said yes.  We could do so because of the wonderfully generous people who have contributed to our Cinderella Fund to make such rehabilitation  possible.  Dr. Ivey, our director of veterinary services, immediately drove to pick Phoenix up.  She and our remarkable clinic staff were a determined team dedicated to saving Phoenix.  He somehow had managed to get himself out of a burning house and we were not going to allow his courage and self-reliance to have been in vain. 

After long and intense care, we became confident that he would make it.  Our staff had come to adore him and everyone checked on him constantly.  His tale of survival was widely covered by the local news media and touched many people.  Everyone loves a story of survival against all odds.  Everywhere I went, someone asked me how that little kitten was who had survived the house fire.

Phoenix was symbolic for us.  He came along at the end of a very long kitten season during which we had kept our pledge to save every healthy and every treatable homeless kitten at risk of euthanasia at the shelters operated by Richmond and Hanover.  It was tough but we had kept that very challenging pledge for many months and saved well over a thousand tiny kittens including all those needing bottle feeding because they had no mother.  Then, came Phoenix and we were utterly determined that we were not going to leave a single one behind.  We said that we would save them all and we would. 

Phoenix is alive and is going to have a long and full life because the Richmond SPCA dedicated itself to saving him. There are very few other communities in this country where Phoenix would have been saved.  Our donors, volunteers, staff and Board members compose a determined and dedicated team and we should be deeply proud of what we have accomplished together.  Viva the Richmond SPCA!


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.