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

January 3, 2010

Dear Fellow Animal Lover:

The holiday season has just concluded and a new year has begun. All of this provides us with a great opportunity to think about what was our greatest gift of 2010 - what was the thing for which we are the most grateful that came along in our lives in the year that is just ended. I know what it was for me: a wonderful little dog named Emma. She joined our family in May, and we cannot believe that we were ever without her.

If you saw our ads in the Richmond Times-Dispatch asking generous people in our community to support our work for animals with their donations this holiday season, then you saw Emma. The ad copy said “She would never desert you in hard times. Please don’t desert her.” Below that copy was a picture of our beloved Emma. Putting her in the ad was not my decision – really it wasn’t. But I have to admit that our family loved having her featured because we adore her so.

Emma was chosen by our management staff for the ads because she is a mixed breed dog who represents so perfectly the wonderful work of this organization in 2010, and really in every year. Emma was picked up by Richmond Animal Care and Control as a result of a call regarding a stray dog that had walked up on the porch of a house on the City’s southside. RACC called and asked us to take her from them because she had extensive matting of her fur and under the dense mats was a dreadful and widespread skin infection. We took her into our care and began her treatment, which actually turned out to be more extensive than just addressing the vicious skin infection. Emma also had a serious case of heartworms which required treatment after the skin infection was cleared up.

It took a long time for Emma to get well, and during that time, I fell in love with her. She is a wonderful little mutt who now has a long area of bare skin on her side, which is permanent since the severity of the infection destroyed the hair follicles in that area. We like to refer to it as her “racing stripe.” Emma, like so many other wonderful dogs and cats, is sweet, playful and very affectionate despite the fact that she must have been horribly neglected wherever she lived previously given the dreadful condition she was in when she came to us. She is just glad to be where she is now.

I have much to be very grateful for that happened in 2010 but nothing so much as the gift of Emma to my life and that of my family. We see Emma’s racing stripe as her badge of honor. She came through a tough time to make it to our family where she returns all of the love we give her. Emma symbolizes what I believe in deeply: that enduring hard times and tough challenges while remaining faithful to your beliefs will ultimately bring you success in achieving what you care about.

Emma also beautifully symbolizes the remarkable life saving work of Richmond SPCA where we believe that pets who have been through a lot have so much to give people who will love them despite their racing stripes. None of us is perfect but Emma comes pretty darn close. The Starrs most certainly will never desert her and the Richmond SPCA will never desert the pets like Emma who need us so much.


Robin Robertson Starr
Chief Executive Officer
Richmond SPCA

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