Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Did you know...

...that Richmond has a Life is Good store? It's true! Joining the Trader Joe's shopping center on West Broad St, Jake and Friends opened in late 201o. They recently braved the weather to join us for our Woofstock event. If you didn't get a chance to see them there, please stop by the store, say hello, and check out the unique Life is Good products. You can find out all about them here.

Richmond Animal League supports its supporters! Show them some love.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Did you know...

...that you really can make a difference, even in the face of so much bad news? It's true.

There was another earthquake and tsunami warning in Japan today. And school children were shot and killed in Brazil. And a starved and tortured pit bull named Patrick is recovering after being tossed down a trash chute in a New Jersey apartment building. Millions of people are still out of work.

It's hard news. It makes you wonder what you can do--if what you are doing today is the most important work you can do in this world. It makes some of us feel helpless. As we gear up for our Woofstock event, and I read the news of the day, I wondered how important it really was to reserve the walkie-talkies, decide on what beer to have, and make sure our face painters know how to turn a little kid into a cat or a dog.

But maybe the best we can do is to take care of those around us, in our immediate families and community. Maybe a great way to honor all of those who suffer around the world is to help one of our neighbors. Richmond Animal League has had the support of this community since the beginning--in 1979. Because of that support, we've been able to take care of more than 800 helpless cats and dogs every year by getting them healthy and finding them permanent, loving homes.

At Woofstock, we'll be celebrating that support and continuing our mission of SAVING LIVES: providing hope, help and homes to animals in need. And that's the most important thing I can be doing today, right here, right now. In my own community.

We hope you will join us in doing what you can. A fundraising walk kicks off Woofstock. You can register here and join us on Saturday, April 16th. And make the world a better place.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Did you know...

...that we get by with a little help from our friends? It's true! Actually, a LOT of help. This was m0st recently illustrated by the incredible response we got last month when we put out an appeal for a new hot water system at the shelter. Before leaving work one Monday night, I sent an email explaining our need for an upgraded system. By Wednesday morning, we had raised all of the funds that we needed ($4,000) and the donations have continued to come in. When told that we have already reached our goal, donors have instructed us to use their gifts for other needs that we have. We know we have great friends, but not one of us expected such a huge wave of generosity and support. It was incredible.

Today, our Volunteer Coordinator, Cynthia Reed, brought me some old newsletters and news clippings that she found in her office. A "Critter Chatter" newsletter from 1988 gave a summary of the 1987 Building Fundraising Efforts. The summary looks like this...
  • Ukrop's 2% Receipt Program.....................................$5,062.43
  • Sad "Doggie" Banks in restaurants and businesses......$5,336.94
  • Yard Sales.................................................................$4,731.37
  • Chesterfield Utility Flyers..........................................$2,550.00
  • Santa Claws Photo Session..........................................$3,537.00
  • Santa Claws Posters....................................................$205.00
  • Sweatshirts/T-shirts...................................................$509.00
  • Val Pak.......................................................................$241.00
  • Richmond Braves Fountain and Donations..................$250.00
These funds were added to the amount previously raised to bring the total up to $95,600.

Did our new hot water system seem like a pipe dream that Monday night when I sent that email? YES. Can you imagine what it must have been like in 1987 when the board decided to raise money for an entire facility? Did they know all along that they could do it? That our donors could do it? They must have. And they DID IT. Together.

Seeing the old newsletters and photos of "the old days" made me think of someone sitting at MY desk in the year 2041 and looking over old plans, and dreams, and how we built a new "campus" that had separate dog and cat buildings, how we expanded our spay/neuter services and opened a free-standing emergency veterinarian clinic, how we helped the entire Metro Richmond animal welfare community adopt the n0-kill philosophy that we have embraced from the beginning, and how feral cat colonies were being successfully managed with the cooperation of RAL, the Loving Spay and Neuter Clinic, and municipal shelters.

Dream big? Our founders did. And we have no choice but to keep up that pace.

Thank you all for taking this amazing journey with us.


Amy D McCracken
Executive Director

Monday, February 28, 2011

Did you know...

...that eating burritos is good for our cats and dogs? It's true. YOU eat the burrito, and our cats and dogs benefit! On Friday, March 11th, Qdoba Mexican Grill at 11500 Midlothian Turnpike will donate $1.50 to RAL every time someone purchases an entree and a drink. This has been organized by one our Strut Your Mutt packs, Caring 4 K9s. Caring 4 K9s is a group of 12-13 year-olds who are really giving the other packs a tough fight for first place! You must take a flyer in with you. We have flyers here at the shelter, and we could also email a copy upon request. Email if you need one! This is a fun way to show your support for Caring 4 k9s and RAL!

No, silly! The PEOPLE have to eat the burritos!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Did you know...

...that Richmond Animal League has a staff of 10? It's true. This small staff, and army of volunteers, make things happen at RAL. We thought you'd like to know who they are!

Dr. Laura Drinkwine, DVM

Dr. Laura spends her days spaying and neutering animals at the
Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic.
On February 15th of this year the clinic turned one year old--
and Dr. Laura also celebrated her birthday that day!
In one year this dynamo performed close to 4,300 surgeries.
Way to go, Dr. Laura!
Keep those scissors (or whatever) sharp!


Jamie White, LVT

Jamie is our vet tech. After surgeries at the clinic
she and Dr. Laura come over and make sure
that all of the shelter animals are happy and healthy.
Jamie's expecting a little boy named Hunter and we
are all very excited for her.


Joy Hudson

In addition to scheduling appointments, providing pre- and post-surgery
information, answering the phones, gathering data, returning messages,
and communicating important info the doctor, Joy also makes sure that
Prince, the clinic cat, behaves himself every day.
No one ever said Joy had it easy.


Pam Bridgmon

Oh, Pam. Pam is the Director of Kennel Operations.
Once, for kicks, we tried to get her job description out of
the filing cabinet to check it out, but it was too
heavy for anyone to lift.
Everyone at Richmond Animal League is
grateful for everything Pam manages to do
every. single. day.


Amy McCracken

Amy is our Executive Director and one of her jobs is to
maintain this blog. Which means that I could write anything at
all about myself right now and no one would know that
it wasn't the gospel truth. I won't, though.
I'll just say that I am lucky to do the work that I do
for RAL and all of the animals we serve.
We are a fantastic team here at 11401 International Drive.


Cynthia Reed

Cynthia is our Volunteer Coordinator, and with more than
400 volunteers, hers is no easy job.
In addition to recruiting, training, and scheduling volunteers,
Cynthia is always willing to help out wherever she is needed.
Like last night, for instance, she was needed in Gonzo's run after he
pooped all over his blankets and then danced around in it for a long time.
In addition to being awesome, she is also Winston's mother.


Alissa Turchen

Alissa joined our team as Adoption Coordinator just this month.
She's learning more and more every day and has already
sent home two long-timers--Henson the Hound and Pippy the La Perm.
Maybe that means her hard work will be good luck for all of our animals!
Alissa is learning to expertly answer all questions that come her way,
such as "Does my new cat come with a leash?"


Megan Wyszynski

Megan has just joined us as Assistant Director of Kennel Operations.
Megan's license plate reads IKENDO. We haven't verified this, but
are guessing that it means I CAN DO. And, man, can she!
She hit the ground running as soon as she got here and we could not
be happier. She already loves RAL cat Apollo Ohno and has
taken great (and so appreciated) care of both Apollo Ohno and Ben!


Bobbi McCrea

Bobbi is long-time RAL Adoptions Counselor.
Bobbi's commitment to, and compassion for, the animals
is always evident.
Though Bobbi works part-time, she is always willing
to help whenever she can, and on Sundays she calls the shots around here.


Sarah Neighbor

Oh, boy, when the animals at Chesterfield County Animal Control
and Prince George County see our Transport Driver show up,
they know they are in for a very big day.
Sarah picks up animals from these shelters and brings them
to the Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic so that no animal is
adopted before being spayed or neutered.
Later in the afternoon, Sarah returns them all--
minus a few parts.

That's our fantastic staff!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Did you know...

...that our clinic will spay or neuter feral cats for free? It's true. Through the generosity of several donors, our Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic is able to offer free surgeries for feral cats that are humanely trapped and brought in to the clinic. Kitten Season is upon us. We've seen more and more cats in heat and have even had calls about kittens being born. NOW is the time to humanely trap and bring in any feral cats living near you. We have the traps, and tips for anyone willing to help. Call the clinic at 804-379-9725 for information.

Did you know that cats LOVE fried chicken? It's true. They do!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Did you know...

...that today is National Spay Day? It's true. For 17 years the Humane Society of the United States has promoting Spay Day during the month of February. We celebrate this day and hope that animals across the United States are having big days at a clinic near them! At Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic we offer FREE spay and neuter to feral cats--and for animals whose owners qualify for free services EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR. It's true. Visit us here to find out more. And tell your friends!