Updates related to COVID-19

In light of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Richmond SPCA is making additional operational changes in accordance with recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control to minimize risk. Our objectives are

  1. To protect the health and well being of our staff, volunteers and the public
  2. To prevent a simultaneous crisis for animals from developing in our community as a result of the pandemic
  3. To ensure continuity of care for the homeless cats and dogs sheltered at our humane center

We continue to provide the programs and services most crucial to the well being of our community’s companion animals as well as those in our care, and we are committed to providing these essential resources as long as it is safe for us to do so.  This is a fluid situation, so additional changes could be announced at any time. Across all areas of our operation, we are reducing visitor traffic. The limited number of volunteers, staff and clients are advised:

  • If you are experiencing an acute respiratory illness, do not come to our facility. Symptoms of COVID-19 according to the CDC include difficulty breathing, coughing, sore throat, fever and headache.
  • If you have recently traveled internationally, do not come to our facility until after you’ve been in the United States for a period of 14 days and are showing no signs of having contracted COVID-19.
  • If you have recently taken a cruise, do not come to our facility until after you’ve returned from that cruise and been in the United States for a period of 14 days and are showing no signs of having contracted COVID-19.
  • If you have recently visited New York State, do not come to our facility until a period of 14 days has passed following your return and after which you are showing no signs of having contracted COVID-19.
  • If you are aware that you have been exposed to someone who has a presumed positive COVID-19 diagnosis, do not come to our facility for a period of at least 14 days after which you are showing no signs of having contracted COVID-19.

Every department is disinfecting shared spaces and surfaces regularly throughout the day. Staff, volunteers and clients need to routinely wash hands. All of our bathrooms are stocked with hand soap and hand sanitizer is available elsewhere in the facility. Many of our operational adjustments are to increase social distancing, as advised by the CDC, to keep a recommended distance of 6 feet from others.

These are some of the adjustments currently taking place in key areas of our operations:


  • Available shifts are restricted to Green Team, Blue Team, Running Buddies and laundry.
  • Procedures for some essential jobs are being updated to further enforce social distancing guidance.

Adoption Center and Retail

  • Closed Monday, March 16 for deep cleaning.
  • Opening by appointment starting Tuesday, March 17. Please email or call the adoption center at 804-521-1307 to schedule to visit a cat or dog.
  • Offsite adoption events have been canceled.

Donations of items

  • Please do not drop off donated items to our humane center at this time. We are grateful for your thoughtfulness, but must request that you hold on to items you wish to donate until a later time.
  • Our Amazon Wish List and Kitten Registry both have much-needed items that you may send directly to our facility.
  • We appreciate your patience in regard to receiving acknowledgment letters for mailed contributions. We are limiting our staff’s presence on-site at our humane center, and this will likely impact how timely you will receive acknowledgment for your generous support. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our director of development, Carol Anne Baker Lajoie, by email or by phone at 804-521-1321.

Foster Care

  • We have placed many pets in temporary foster homes with volunteers who have completed our Meet the Fosters training.
  • To ensure continuity of care, we are preparing for a scenario in which foster care placements may need to be made with healthy households on short notice. At this time, we have sufficient foster commitments.

Education & Training

  • Classes currently in session are being postponed.
  • Birthday parties, children’s tours and visits have been canceled.
  • Workshops will be rescheduled.
  • Animal Brigade service club is suspended.
  • School for Dogs is suspended.


  • Non-emergency surrenders of owned animals are asked to postpone their appointments.
  • We ask that only one guardian is present for any scheduled surrender appointment.

Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital

  • Appointments for general wellness visits are not being scheduled at this time. We are currently seeing only sick and urgent appointments.
  • For the safety of our clients and our team, we have implemented curbside service.
  • For your convenience, we are now offering telemedicine via phone consultations. When you call to schedule an appointment, a team member will provide this as an option and can explain how this works.
  • Prescription refill payments will be taken by phone.

As you develop your own personal emergency plan for this public health emergency, it is vital to include planning for your pets. Read more about COVID-19 planning with pets in mind.

Get the latest Richmond SPCA news:

Our Partners