We have so much to be proud of during this landmark year for the Richmond SPCA. In 2002, our 111-year-old organization made a historic and courageous change when we committed to protecting the lives of the animals we take into our care in just the same way as we expect their lifetime guardians to do. No longer would we take the life of a dog or cat for reasons relating to shelter space, length of time in our care or the costs associated with delivering necessary medical treatment to those pets who are severely sick or injured. We believe that taking the life of a healthy or treatable dog or cat simply because he or she has no home is morally wrong and ethically indefensible. This is the single most important decision that our organization has made in our 121-year history of protecting and defending homeless animals. There were those who made very clear that they disagreed with this change, and it took commitment and courage on the part of our Board leadership and management to stay the course of a change that we believed in deeply. And, we still do.
The intervening decade has proved the wisdom of this decision we made a decade ago – not only do we save the lives of nearly all of the approximately 3,500 pets that come into our care every year but we have ensured that the live release rate for homeless animals citywide has improved dramatically. We have also conveyed to our community, and stood up for nationally, a philosophical message that places real value on the lives of homeless companion animals. We are deeply proud that we operate consistently with our moral principles and that other organizations around the country look to us as a model.
The truth is that the lifesaving we have achieved as a no-kill organization and a national humane leader is the result of the hard work and heartfelt dedication of many people – Board members, staff, volunteers and generous supporters. We have saved tens of thousands of loving companions over the past decade, and we are guaranteeing adoption to dogs and cats who would have tragically died in a shelter prior to 2002.
Continued progress in achieving more humane attitudes is possible with your active participation and financial support. We count on you to help us ensure that wonderful, but homeless pets do not lose their lives in our community. Together we are guaranteeing a future to helpless and innocent orphaned pets in great need.
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.