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SPCA Director Responds; We Will Not Be Bullied; We Are Proud to Be SPCA; SPCA Plan Solves Problems; Let's Work to Help Animals; Anti-SPCA Letters Are Incorrect


SPCA Director Responds

Your Sept. 25 issue contained a clearly orchestrated series of letters attacking the Richmond SPCA and me, as well as our capital campaign chairman, Claiborne Robins. It was obvious from these vicious and mean-spirited attacks that the letter writers and the Save Our Shelter organization are deeply jealous and resentful of the success of the Richmond SPCA. It is also glaringly apparent that they desire failure for their organization and the humane cause in this community.

They criticized Mr. Robins, who has done nothing but give his time, energies and resources to give homeless animals in this community a voice. It would be appropriate for these writers to express their appreciation to him. In addition to desiring failure for themselves, they most remarkably do not want substantial money raised or a progressive care facility built for the animals that they claim to care about.

The Richmond SPCA will not give them failure. We choose to succeed for the community and the animals who rely on us. We will continue to work with passion and energy to stop the dreadful loss of life and to continue to distinguish our community and our institution as the national humane leaders they are.

Robin Robertson Starr
Executive director, Richmond SPCA

We Will Not Be Bullied

What is most evident to me in the letters to Style [against the SPCA] is that none of the authors has ever visited the Richmond SPCA nor spoken with a staff member or volunteer. It is clear that they have fallen prey to the orchestrated campaign of misinformation launched via e-mail and fax following the original story ("Animal Instincts," cover story, Aug. 21). I ask that you learn the facts before passing judgment.

The SPCA is deeply committed to the rehabilitation of sick and injured animals — we have devoted more resources towards this end than any other animal-welfare organization in central Virginia. Rehabilitation is one of four tenets of the long-range plan along with adoption, sterilization and education. One look at the layout of our new facility and one would see the vast amount of space dedicated to rehabilitation.

We respect the right of others to disagree, providing they do it based on factual information. But we will not be bullied into continuing the mass slaughter of innocent animals. There is a solution and we will pursue it undeterred.

Denise Deisler
Associate executive director, R-SPCA

We Are Proud to Be SPCA

The staff at the Richmond SPCA is deeply devoted to saving animal lives. When the smaller, fragmented humane groups insult Robin Starr they insult us, the volunteers, our donors and the board of directors. We stand behind our executive director and the direction our strong board of directors is taking our organization.

Last year the Richmond SPCA spent over $82,000 rehabilitating unhealthy animals. For the last three years, we have raised over $400,000 specifically for the care of the unhealthy, and we do not intend to stop. How much has Save our Shelter spent in the last year on "unhealthy animals"?

SOS has stopped taking in animals because they are unable to raise money, and they continue to do nothing about the gas chambers being used in the Chesterfield and Henrico shelters; if that isn't turning your back on the animals we don't know what is.

We believe in the Richmond SPCA and we are proud to be on the staff of such a wonderful organization.

Makena Yarbrough
Director of operations, R-SPCA
[co-signers: the staff of the Richmond SPCA]

SPCA Plan Solves Problems

The money the SPCA raised in order to have a better and larger facility was not, I don't think, intended to build a facility just to hold more and more animals. One important part of the plan for that building is a humane education program. Teaching children and adults how to care for animals and how to better understand their behavior will go a long way toward reducing the number of abandoned pets in Richmond.

Another important part of their new operation will be a spay/neuter clinic. The more control we have over the number of animals that are out there will mean we'll have fewer homeless animals on our hands. The SPCA's long-range plan seems to be designed to get to the root of the problem to affect a permanent cure instead of applying a Band-Aid approach.

Tuck Davis

Let's Work to Help Animals

I find it hard to believe, as a worker in the humane field and with the SPCA, that people criticize the SPCA for the efforts it is making to end the euthanizing of animals. I don't believe that people really understand the hard work and dedication of the staff at the SPCA.

We all love animals and arguing over who does what doesn't help them. People should spend their time and focus on what else they can do to end the homeless pet population.

Krystal Carter

Anti-SPCA Letters Are Incorrect

As a former volunteer and current employee of the R-SPCA, I am much angered by the recent letters in publication. We don't just pick the "healthy" and "adoptable" animals. We take in and work with as many animals as we can. I have volunteered at animal shelters in many different states ,and this is the only shelter that I could work for.

I am so glad that Richmond has so many animal lovers. I just wish everyone would stop fighting over who loves them most and work together. Unfortunately, there are enough animals to go around.

Wendy Kirkpatrick

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