This afternoon the Richmond SPCA was honored to be among eight Virginia charitable organizations and six faith based leaders invited to participate in a news conference with Governor Bob McDonnell. The cause that brought together the diverse group is the governor’s proclamation and call for observance of December as Opportunity to Help Others Month.
Governor McDonnell recognized that organizations such as ours need ongoing support in order to fulfill our missions, not just during the holidays but throughout the year. Each of the nine community leaders was asked to convey the one thing Virginians can do to help their cause. Our Chief Executive Officer Robin Robertson Starr shared the following words:
I am very grateful to Governor McDonnell for the opportunity to be a part of this lovely and generous event. I was asked to tell you one thing that Virginians can do to help the Richmond SPCA and all of the other private humane societies across the state in the month of December. I thought about that long and hard and concluded that it was just this simple – be kind, truly kind in your treatment not just of other people but of other animals with whom we share this earth. Understand that they are no different from us in their ability to feel pain or fear or joy or love and they treasure their lives just as we do our own. At the Richmond SPCA we don’t talk about animal rights but about human responsibilities – responsibilities to be kind and merciful. This holiday season is the best possible time for us to realize that the dominion that humans have over other animals by virtue of our intelligence does not give us a license to disregard their suffering or the value of their lives but a responsibility and a sacred trust to be kind in our treatment of other species. Stephen de Grellet, a 19th century Quaker missionary said “I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
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