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About the Richmond SPCA

The Richmond SPCA is a nonprofit, no-kill humane society in Richmond, Virginia. We are not a part of or related to any other organization with “Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” or “SPCA” in its name. We stand for the principle that every life is precious by:

  • Saving the lives of about 4,000 homeless dogs, cats, kittens and puppies each year by transferring them into our care primarily from shelters all over Virginia where their lives are at risk without us.
  • Providing extensive veterinary medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation to the vast majority of the dogs and cats in our shelter because they come to us with significant veterinary medical issues and/or behavioral challenges.
  • Adopting about 4,000 homeless pets into loving, lasting homes each year.
  • Operating our community’s first and only full-service, low-cost veterinary hospital for the pets of people of modest means.
  • Offering a free behavior helpline and resource library that provide guardians advice, training guidance and support that allows them to keep their pets and not relinquish them to a shelter.
  • Delivering free sterilization surgeries and rabies vaccinations to community cats brought to the Richmond SPCA Smoky’s Spay & Neuter Clinic by community members engaging in Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return.
  • Providing educational programs for children to learn the importance of creating a more humane world.
  • Teaching more than 30 reward-based pet training classes per week.
  • Advocating for progressive, humane legislation in our community and state.

Our Mission

At all times and in every way, we are advocates for animals. We provide for their safety and comfort, strive to alleviate their suffering and work to place them in homes that provide a responsible lifetime commitment to them. We speak out publicly to promote and defend their interests. We oppose all forms of animal cruelty.

We promote spaying and neutering to achieve and retain a no-kill community. We oppose any taking of the lives of healthy or treatable animals and do not participate in such conduct ourselves. We provide services that promote responsible pet ownership and humane attitudes toward all life.

Facts about the Richmond SPCA

  • We are a national leader in progressive animal sheltering, animal protection and advocacy and humane care and education. We promote compassion for all living things and help people to find comfort, love and companionship with the pets who share their lives.
  • We were founded in 1891. Learn more about our remarkable history on our blog.
  • We are an independent nonprofit and not a chapter or affiliate of any other organization with Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or SPCA) in its name, including but not limited to the ASPCA. We do not receive funding from any government entity.
  • We became a no-kill humane society in 2002. Being no-kill means that we never take the life of any healthy or treatable animal. Once we admit an animal into our care, we treat that animal no differently than we would expect a loving pet guardian to do. If our veterinarian determines that a pet in our care requires veterinary treatment for a sickness or injury, we provide that care so as to return that pet to a healthy or a manageable condition. We only euthanize a pet if our veterinarian determines that the pet is too severely sick or injured to ever recover to a life of quality and is suffering or if a pet is so behaviorally aggressive as to present a material danger to human safety.
  • We primarily take into our shelter dogs and cats from government shelters across Virginia where their lives are at risk without us.
  • We especially focus on taking into our care those animals who are sick or injured because we know that their lives are at the greatest risk in most other shelters and that we are capable of treating and rehabilitating them.
  • We opened our state-of-the-art Robins-Starr Humane Center in 2002. Our humane center houses our Adoptions Center, Track & Training Center, Exploratorium for children, Wilma’s Admissions Wing, Lora Robins Retail Shop, our sheltering operations and our administrative offices. It is adjacent to our Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital.
  • In 2004, we began providing low-cost and free spay/neuter surgeries through our Smoky’s Spay/Neuter Clinic. This program evolved into our pilot Clinic for Compassionate Care in 2012, when we launched a public veterinary clinic to provide full-service, low-cost veterinary care. In 2016, we opened our Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital which now sees more than 11,000 pet patients each year who belong to families of modest means and Richmond SPCA adopters.
  • We employ about 150 full- and part-time employees, and rely on generous support from approximately 450 active volunteers. Our independent Board of Directors guides our organizational decision making, and we are grateful to them for their bold vision and dynamic leadership.

View our most recent annual report.

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