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Richmond cares about homeless animals

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Richmond cares about homeless animals

I would like to thank those Richmonders who voted and chose the Richmond SPCA and SOS (Save Our Shelters) as co-winners as Richmond's Favorite Local Charity (cover story, April 17).

As a "full-time weekend" volunteer for the Richmond SPCA, I read with great interest the letter from Jeanne Bridgforth, president of SOS (letters, May 8). While I greatly admire and respect the work that SOS and the many other local rescue groups in our area perform, I was a little disturbed by what I perceived as a misconception about our SPCA.

Yes, the SPCA does have full- and part-time salaried employees. We also have kennel facilities that are outdated and in need of repair, but still manage to offer shelter and a chance at life to nearly 5,000 animals per year. A dedicated staff is essential to care for and rehabilitate this number of animals and to provide all the other community programs the SPCA does: Share-a-Pet (pets visiting nursing homes), SAAF (caring for the pets of families in shelters due to domestic crisis), Pets-on-Wheels (providing older pets, their food and veterinary care to those visited by Meals-on-Wheels), and many, many more.

And I can tell you from extensive personal experience that each and every member of the SPCA staff wears many different hats. Also, many of them literally take their work home with them — little furry "boarders" in need of "special care." And there is not one among this incredible staff who is afraid to get their hands dirty or their hearts broken.

Through hard work, a little luck and the incredible support from our supporters, the SPCA will embark on a course that will completely change the old image of the animal shelter from one of cages, darkness and euthanasia to one of sunlight, unending hope, and as the very name of the program conveys: the compassionate solution!

Please check our website at www.richmondspca.org for the details of this groundbreaking and innovative program which will certainly put Richmond in the spotlight as a community that cares enough about its homeless animal population explosion to run, not walk, from the darkness of the past into the brightness of the future and make it reality.

Susan K. Bangel

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