There surely could be no better news that I could have received than the news that the cats had won. When I saw the message telling me that the Virginia Supreme Court had found in favor of Susan Mills and against the overbearing conduct of Henrico County with regard to community cats, I was thrilled and grateful. While the cats have been greatly helped by Susan as well as by the Richmond SPCA and their wonderful attorneys, Jack Robb and Will Shewmake of the law firm of LeClair Ryan, the success really belongs to the cats and to the powerful ethics of respect for the value of their lives and those of other creatures.
I could never adequately thank Will Shewmake and Jack Robb who have generously given their time, energy, professional expertise and moral support to Susan and to the Richmond SPCA to help us to protect the cats. We also are deeply grateful for the thoughtful opinion which supported a broader approach to the issue written by Justice William Mims and to Alton Wright of the Henrico Board of Zoning Appeals who made clear from his observations, and predicted at the BZA hearing, that the County's actions against Susan Mills were ill advised. I am also so thankful to our wonderful Board members who were willing to stick with our support for Susan's case throughout all of its stages because they knew it was the right thing to do.
Our greatest thanks of all goes to Susan Mills who has not only cared for and loved these cats for many years but who was willing to stand up courageously to the County for them. Together, as a team with Will and Jack, we showed that we can give animals the voice they deserve. It is wonderful to know that the voice we gave them was truly heard. Henrico could not tell us not to care.
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 both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.