Today we made an announcement to the media that we are very excited about, and I wanted to share this news directly with those of you who read our blog. The Richmond SPCA will open the Clinic for Compassionate Care on March 5, providing full-service veterinary care by appointment to the pets of low-income guardians, pets adopted from the Richmond SPCA on or after March 5, pets referred to the clinic by another veterinarian, and pets in government shelters on a low-cost, high-quality basis.
This is the most recent in the many groundbreaking advances for the well being of animals that the Richmond SPCA has made. Since our founding in 1891, we have always been on the forefront of positive change and have pushed both our community, and the animal welfare field nationwide, to adopt new approaches and to let go of outdated notions in order to save more animal lives. Playing that role is not always easy because ours is a field that resists change. Well, when you think about it, what field does not resist change? Maybe some high-tech fields do not, but most of them resist change because people resist change.
Offering low-cost, high-quality veterinary care for pets of low-income guardians is a new and novel approach that has not been done in our community or in many other communities in the US. We know that many companion animals desperately need us to do this for them. There are many of them who are beloved members of families that simply cannot afford to provide their pets with the veterinary care they need. The result is that many pets suffer and die needlessly and many people are faced with the misery of relinquishing or euthanizing a beloved pet with a treatable ailment. This has been confirmed in empirical research that was done for us by Alan Newman Research and in our own experience with the Wellness Clinic we have operated since 2009. We do not in any way fault the veterinary community for this circumstance because they must make enough to pay the expenses of their clinics and to provide themselves and their families with a reasonable living. Veterinary practices are regularly faced with the difficult situation of a pet in need of expensive treatment and a guardian who cannot afford it. The Clinic for Compassionate Care will provide them with an alternative to offer the guardian.
The Richmond SPCA’s role is to save animal lives, advocate for their well being and make sure that more cats and dogs find good homes where they will be loved. Our new Clinic will be a great tool in accomplishing these goals. Our Smoky’s Spay/Neuter Clinic will continue to do its great work providing sterilization surgeries for our pets available for adoption, feral cats, pets adopted from other shelters, and pets of clients of the Clinic for Compassionate Care. The reception office, which may be reached by calling 804-521-1330, will begin taking calls for appointments and other information February 27. In the meantime, please visit the Clinic for Compassionate Care website at www.richmondspca.org/clinic for more details.
We are proud to be that rare organization that does not see obstacles as insurmountable, is not mired in the status quo and does not fear forging a new way. We act with energy and guts because the animals count on us for their lives.
Robin Robertson Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.