One of the most common questions asked of our adoption staff is: "Where did this pet come from?" Understandably, potential pet guardians like to know any background information we may have regarding pets in our care to best prepare them for a successful life with their new companion. Of the approximately 3,500 pets we take into our care each year, about 70 to 75% of them are ones we have transferred from local government shelters where their lives were at risk. The remaining 25 to 30% are ones who were surrendered to us directly by their owner or through our Foster to Surrender program for Good Samaritans who find neonatal kittens. The Richmond SPCA does not take in and house stray animals. That responsibility resides with the municipalities.
The City of Richmond operates an animal care and control facility, as do each of the surrounding counties. Taking lost pets to the agency nearest the location where the pet was found helps ensure that owners and pets can be reunited as quickly as possible when they become separated. At each animal control agency, pets are held for a requisite stray period, during which time guardians have the opportunity to locate and reclaim their pet. After the stray period has expired, the pet can be adopted out directly from the municipal animal control facility or he or she may be transferred by a private agency such as the Richmond SPCA and ultimately be made available for adoption. Our team visits local shelters in order to transfer pets into our care Monday through Friday every week.
While the Richmond SPCA does take pets surrendered to us directly by their owners into our care, our goal is to help prevent homelessness and to keep as many pets as possible in loving homes and out of the shelter system. This effort increases lifesaving capacity in our humane center and beyond. Through our collection of pet retention services called Project Safety Net, we provide alternatives to pet relinquishment. As part of our no-kill model, we have developed numerous programs that enlist the public as allies in keeping dogs and cats out of shelters.
The pets we transfer into our care from local government agencies could have first entered those government agencies as strays, as seizures resulting from cruelty investigations, or they could have been abandoned there or surrendered there by their owners. This means that we may have very little history about all of these animals. Thankfully, many people are part of the process of preparing the pets in our care for adoption.
We depend on a great team of staff and volunteers to see our dogs and cats through their stay at the Richmond SPCA. Each pet is examined and treated by our veterinary staff, cared for by our trained technicians and assessed by our Meet Your Match criteria to determine each adult pet's personality. By the time a dog or cat becomes available for adoption, we already have a portfolio of information about the pet's current health, personality and any additional information we have gathered during his or her stay at our shelter. This system enables our adopters to make an informed decision and find their best possible match. Additionally, many of our pets receive training from our experienced trainers or go into foster care with our volunteers who report back to us about their stay and any new or fun information they have gathered about the pet.
We just finished our fiscal year with our best adoption numbers yet: 3,502 matches were made. Every time a dog or cat was adopted from the Richmond SPCA, our adopters enabled us to save the life of another orphaned animal in great need somewhere in our community.
Our population changes daily, so we encourage our potential adopters to check our dog and cat pages of our website frequently if they do not find what they are looking for on any given day. These pages update automatically throughout the day so that as soon as a pet becomes available for adoption, he is added to the list, and once he is adopted, he is removed. For our customers without regular internet access, our adoption staff is more than happy to answer questions about our pets and the adoption process over the phone; they can be reached at 804-521-1307. If you're looking for a pet, please check out our website, contact our adoption staff or come in for a visit today to meet your
Linley Beckner is the coordinator of community relations for the Richmond SPCA. To read the biographies of our regular 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.