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Robin Starr
Richmond SPCA
Robin Starr is the chief executive officer of the Richmond SPCA, a private, no-kill humane society in Richmond, Va.
Recent Activity
Recently, the Petco Foundation made publicly available a remarkable new asset to the field of animal welfare in the form of a well-designed tool for valuable statistical analysis. After I was first introduced to it and then spent time discovering its extraordinary capabilities, I was thrilled. I was particularly thrilled... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Virginia Senator Bill Stanley has introduced SB 801 in memory of Molly, a dog whose life was taken needlessly in the Galax-Carroll-Grayson Animal Shelter last year. Last summer, I wrote a blog post titled “A Needless and Indefensible Death in Carroll County” about a dog whom we and others tried... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2017 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Adoption Counselor Danielle Long holds Binks, a kitten with Cerebellar Hypoplasia whose life was saved by the Richmond SPCA. It is with great pride that we make the Richmond SPCA’s Annual Report for our 2015-16 Fiscal Year available for viewing on our website. This Annual Report provides a clear and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Recently, the City of Montreal enacted a ban on all dogs that are identified as looking like pit bulls. Of course, there is no real way for anyone to identify a “pit bull” since it is nothing but a vague set of physical characteristics which are highly subject to personal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The United States military has a rule that is sacrosanct. As expressed by President Obama, that rule is: “We don't leave our men or women in uniform behind." He referenced this rule to explain the authorization of the swap that brought Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl home after five years in the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The morning after Election Day in 2005, I got a call in my office from a staff member in our adoption center. She told me that Tim Kaine, Anne Holton and their kids were in an adoption center living room meeting dogs. I was incredulous since he had just been... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The world lost a great man and a deeply dedicated animal lover recently when BB Munford passed away at 89. When I joined the Board of the Richmond SPCA in the mid-90’s and then became the CEO a few years later, BB welcomed me with kindness and enthusiasm. It was... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
On February 25, we celebrated the opening of our amazing new Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital and this week the Times-Dispatch provided great coverage for the community in an article and gallery of photos. This is the culmination of years of work for many people who have believed deeply in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
PETA released a self-serving and misleading press release over the weekend. The clear rationale for the release was to get out ahead of the required annual filings of animal statistics with an explanation in the form of a distraction intended to mislead. Every releasing agency in Virginia that takes in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The 2016 session of the General Assembly promises an explosion of bills and focus on animal welfare issues in our state. This is a reflection of the struggle that has been going on in recent years over progress. The struggle is between the worn out, brutal, old style approach of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2016 at Richmond SPCA Blog
PETA recently distributed a breathtakingly dishonest and irresponsible letter over the signature of its Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovich. Not only is the letter deceptive and mean, it is also bizarrely paranoid. The letter speaks of their “opponents,” by which PETA appears to mean their opponents with respect to legislation... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
What on earth is going on at the Roanoke Times? They have published yet another nasty and misleadingly inaccurate opinion piece urging people to hate and fear all pit bulls and continuing the pattern of an earlier and equally irrational opinion piece in the Roanoke paper suggesting that all “rescue... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
On Wednesday, May 26, the Roanoke Times ran a deeply irresponsible opinion piece entitled “Beware of Rescue Dogs.” According to the Roanoke Times, it was written by a “semi-retired registered nurse who has never been without a family dog.” That is a bit like allowing me a platform to pontificate... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Thanks to Attorney General Mark Herring and his office’s Opinions Counsel Timothy Oksman, it is now clear that private people and organizations like ours can engage in trap-neuter-return programs ("TNR") in Virginia without fear of legal reprisals. A letter sent out from the Attorney General's Office during the previous administration... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Maya, whose life was taken by PETA workers, was the beloved dog of the Zarate family and the companion of their young daughter. PETA’s hometown newspaper came out with two pieces last week in an effort to protect and defend that organization. The Virginian Pilot ran a so-called news piece... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Editor's Note: This post, which first published on Jan. 21 was updated on Jan. 23, as one of the bills outlined below has recently been modified, and the Richmond SPCA is now supportive of that edited bill. The General Assembly’s 2015 session has opened and it offers, as usual, a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Recently, I was driving down the street listening to Mariah Carey singing her very peppy version of “All I Want for Christmas.” It caused me to think about what I would want for Christmas if I could have anything but just one single thing. I have reached a point in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The silence is deafening. While there are many news reports of PETA’s alleged theft and immediate killing of an innocent and beloved small dog in Accomack County, while the family and many of their friends and supporters ask in vain for justice from our court system, while rallies are being... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
While my messages to you often concern the dogs and cats which the Richmond SPCA shelters each day, it is an important part of our mission that we are called to be advocates for all animals. A paper introduced in the Richmond City Council to address the treatment of elephants... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
On August 19, I attended and spoke at a meeting of the Board of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) on the topic of the proposed regulations by which the DGIF seeks to enforce the new law about fox pens that was passed by the General Assembly last... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The Virginia General Assembly passed a bill during the 2014 legislative session that provides some much needed protection to the thousands of defenseless foxes placed in fox pens where they are subjected to a life of constant stresses and, frequently, a painful and miserable death. These pens are inherently cruel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Recently, I attended a meeting at which charitable giving was discussed and a person in the audience asked the question “Why would I choose to direct charitable support to an animal welfare organization when there are organizations helping people in need to which the funding could be directed?” I believe... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
Tabitha Hanes, Caroline Radom, Tamsen Kingry and Robin Starr following the May 14 RichTech Awards Gala. On Wednesday evening, May 14, the Richmond SPCA’s remarkable and creative harnessing of the power of social media for the benefit of homeless animals was recognized in a very big way! We won the... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The Virginia General Assembly passed a much amended and significantly watered down version of Senator Dave Marsden’s Senate Bill 42 last week. That is the bill that would prohibit fox penning in Virginia. As anyone who reads this blog or our Facebook page knows, the Richmond SPCA has worked very... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog
The Richmond Times Dispatch published an opinion piece on Sunday written by Daphna Nachminovitch of PETA decrying the no-kill philosophy and maligning organizations such as ours that embrace progressive approaches to saving lives. I have always appreciated the statement of Pat Moynahan that people are welcome to their own opinions... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at Richmond SPCA Blog