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!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Did you know...

...that there is someone for everyone? It's true. Valentine's Day is upon us and some of us will be celebrating with the ones we love, and others will be holding fast to the knowledge that there is someone out there for them. It's a mystery what makes us fall in love. But, oh, when we do....

I've been at RAL since May of 2010. And I loved LouAnne, Nikki, and Aniya right away. I loved Bozley, PJ, and Pauline. I still love Apollo Ono, Pippi, and Cricket.

But I fell in love with a dog last week like never before. Mia. She was turned in to New Kent Animal Shelter with the news that "this dog don't hunt." Well, that's true. She doesn't. In fact, she wants to do nothing of the sort. She loves people. And attention. And sitting on laps.

I've felt guilty about loving this dog as much as I have. I've lost most of my facebook friends because I kept uploading picture after picture of her. Our shelter is full of cats and dogs who deserve and need as much love as I so easily felt for this animal I called Mia.

But then I didn't feel guilty. I felt hopeful. For some unknown reason, I fell in love with Mia. It wasn't her breed, her spots, her size, her mannerisms. I don't know what it was. But I believe that every animal in our shelter could have that effect on just the right person. There's someone for everyone. I understand better now how truly wonderful it is when an adopter walks into Richmond Animal League and says, "Oh my gosh, that one! That's the one!"

There's someone for Henson. And Chestnut. And Blueberry Pie. And Lucretia. And maybe even Lucy. There is. And until those adopters walk in the door at 11401 International Drive, we'll make sure their true loves are taken care of while they wait.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Did you know...

...that 2010 was an incredible year for RAL? It's true! It was so great that it has taken us this long to wrap it up!
  • We were off and running in January preparing for the exciting opening of our new clinic, the Loving Spay + Neuter Clinic (LSNC). The only high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic south of the James River, LSNC was awarded a contract with Chesterfield and Prince George County to spay and neuter every animal before an adoption takes place. The clinic offers free spay and neuters to feral cats and those without the resources to pay to have their pets spayed/neutered. Dr. Laura Drinkwine performed close to 4,000 procedures since the opening of the clinic in February.
  • February was a great month to recognize our foster program. Led by Pam Bridgmon and Pat Trombley, RAL’s foster program allows us to save even more animals than we have space for in the shelter. Fosters are called on not just when the shelter is full, but when an animal needs a little extra attention or has been at the shelter for a very long time. Iggy, our beautiful white adult cat recently had knee surgery and is recovering in a loving home. Very young puppies and kittens are fostered until they are old enough to be adopted. Puck, one of our three-legged wonders, in currently getting love, attention, and rehab with a dedicated foster. Our fosters are an integral and vital part of our ability to rescue and save as many animals as we do!
  • In March our volunteers were finally given a break from all that snow and cold weather! We count on our volunteers every day to make sure that our cats and dogs are feed, clean, and happy. Despite snow, rain, freezing temperatures, holidays, and busy lives of their own, our volunteers show up time and time again to help. RAL has always counted on volunteers, but we have more volunteers than ever before, and they perform at the most professional level. We could never do what we do without them!
  • April saw the very first Metro Richmond Pet Savers (MRPS) adoption event! The dream of reducing euthanasia rates in our community was realized as rescue groups worked together and the first massive adopt-a-thon was held. Participating groups pull animals from municipal shelters who need our help and offer those animals for adoption at these events. More than 600 animals have been pulled from shelters that may not have been able to keep the animals much longer. That means more than 600 lives saved. MRPS has not slowed down—even during the colder months. In fact, the coalition continues to grow. On the second Saturday of each month MRPS will be at a PetSMART near you (visit for details).
  • May meant WOOFSTOCK! It was a beautiful day on Monument Avenue! Woofstock is a time to play! The day begins with Strut Your Mutt, a fundraising walk benefiting all of the animals in our care. There is music, food, beer, doggy fashion shows, training demonstrations, agility courses, and DOGS, DOGS, DOGS. It’s the most fun you can have with your leash on.
  • Richmond Animal League quietly celebrates a birthday in June. RAL was incorporated on June 10, 1979. Even from the humble beginnings, RAL has been a no-kill shelter. Most, if not all, shelters aspire to be no-kill. Lack of space and resources, and the seemingly endless stream of homeless animals make this very difficult. With careful planning, dedicated volunteers, incredible community support and teamwork RAL was able to start out as a no-kill shelter, and continue for more than 30 years.
  • In July, RAL staff and volunteers attended the Virginia State Animal Rescue Team summit to gain information about forming a Community Animal Response Team (CART) in Chesterfield County. Within weeks we had plans to recruit and train volunteers and met with county officials to get the ball rolling. A CART in our county would ensure that there is a plan in place to care for domestic animals in the event of an emergency, evacuation, or natural disaster. It’s not a matter of if, but when a CART will be needed. We’ll be there when you need us!
  • August. Oh, the dog days of summer were celebrated when our cats were finally able to shake ringworm! Brought into the shelter through a few cats that were part of a hoarding case, ringworm necessitated isolation, confinement, medication, and resulted in no cats being available for adoption. Through hard work and diligence all of the cats were eventually given a clean bill of health and were able to get on with their lives and bat their eyes at potential adopters!
  • We had to step it up in September to increase adoptions to make up for the slow months of ringworm. RAL brings in around 800 animals each year, and the faster we can find them loving and permanent homes, the more we can bring in. We work closely with county shelters and local rescue groups to maximize the number of animals we can save. An adoptions committee was formed and started to come up with plans to “push the fur.”
  • The first adoption specials were held in October with adoption fees on all orange or orange and white cats reduced. Mr. Shoo posed for a photo in a pumpkin and we were able to adopt 10 cats that month! Happy Halloween, indeed!
  • November brought the grand finale of Best in Show! Seven candidates had embarked on a 12-week fundraising blitz to vie for the crown! Every dollar counted as a vote, and the candidate with the most votes won. Special thanks to Tarra Balcom, Ashley Carroll, Dee Bogetti, Natalie Wier, Carly Keating, Suellen Christeller and Heather Mullican. The efforts of these women resulted in more than $78,000 for the animals in our care! Ashley Carroll took home the crown for Best in Show 2010. If that wasn’t enough good news for November, we opened a thrift store in the village of Midlothian. Reuse sells household goods, books, jewelry, and a few pet supplies. All proceeds from the store further RAL’s mission of SAVING LIVES: providing hope, help and homes to animals in need.
  • As the year drew to an end, MRPS held a holiday-themed adoption event and Santa came to hear all the wishes of our cats and dogs (he was not surprised that “a home” was the most common Christmas wish). The end of the year is a special time to reflect—and to look forward. As we looked back over the year, it seemed right to us that Family Dog Digest and Lite 98 chose the president of our board, Sharon Cornett, as the first ever Pet Person of the Year. Sharon has led us through all of the good news this year, and is pulling us into 2011.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Did you know...

...that you can adopt an adult cat for only $10.00 this month? It's true! While we know that each and every one of our adult cats is worth a million, we've reduced adoption fees to help find these animals permanent, loving homes. We had ELEVEN adult cats go home in January! It may be chilly today, but spring is just around the corner and spring brings flowers, sunshine and KITTENS. Adopting an adult cat not only makes his or her dream come true, but will make space for a kitten that needs shelter and a home.

Freddie went home, but there are many more loving adults cats available for adoption.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Did you know...

...that we love giving tours of our facility? It's true. As you can see from this thank you note, it's definitely worth your time to visit us.

We love how Filbert's leg was drawn, then erased, in this depiction of him. I mean, he was, after all, born with 4 legs. But you'd never know it considering how well he gets along with three.

I'm sure the cat could have gone without being called out on his girth (that's him in one of our amazing cat hammocks).

Come see us!

Filbert (smiling, as usual)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Did you know...

...that you have a chance to win a fabulous portrait session with Wolfgang Jasper Photography just by telling your story about your pet? It's true! is hosting a Show Your Love contest.

Everyone who loves a cat or dog has a story about how that love came to be.
All you have to do is submit your story by midnight on February 21st. Winner will be announced February 28th. The details of the contest can be found here.

We are pretty certain that Apollo Ono and Mr. Shoo will be entering this contest.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you know...

...that being part of RAL's foster program enables you to help more animals than you ever could if you had to keep them all forever? It's true! So many of our fosters hear this: "I could never do that. It would be too hard to give them up." We'd like to offer a different perspective--straight from our fosters (we'd really like to ask the cats and dogs, but they are pretty tight-lipped about their time away from the shelter).

1. Fostering is a no-risk way to have more animals share your life! You can foster animals you might not even consider adopting because of age or health issues.
2. You get to see what it would be like to have "just one more" in your home.
3. It's a great way to give your own pets more opportunities to socialize and exercise.
4. You and RAL get a much better understanding of the animal's personality. Animals in shelter settings can be nervous or depressed. Many times they blossom in a home environment.
5. Your belief that there are indeed angels among us is continually renewed when you get to meet some of our wonderful adopters!
6. Fosters open up a spot at RAL for another animal to be saved.
7. You realize that the foster animal isn't the lucky you--you are! You get to be a hero in the eyes of a homeless pet!
8. Fosters get to see so many unique personalities develop in their care.
9. Your heart gets lots of exercise!
10. RAL covers all expenses related to fostering.

If you would like to learn more about our foster program, contact us at Fostering helps further our mission of SAVING LIVES: providing hope, help and homes to animals in need.

Willis is getting used to being a three-legged wonder before going to his loving, permanent home.
His foster mom is taking good care of him in the meantime.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Did you know...

...that RAL merchandise can make your co-workers look beautiful and happy? It's true! Huge thanks to Suzanne and Gil Burdette for making these SunTrust employees look so good!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did you know...

that the media coverage of the increase in hounds in area shelters (including RAL) has resulted in some wonderful stories? It's true! A few of the dogs have already gone home! We've had people call and want to donate to support the hounds that just arrived--and even someone who wants to help Henson, who has been here for a long time. We also received an email from a woman named Sherri who took the time to tell us the story of Buddy.

Hi RAL ! I heard about the hunting dog additions to your shelter on the news the other day and I just had to thank you for what you are doing. I also wanted to share my hunting dog story with you. My family and I rescued a hunting dog back in the very cold winter of 2006. We were in a strip mall parking lot and saw a very skinny hound dog running around. We tried to get him, but he resisted our efforts. We ended up cornering him and, luckily, he gave in to us. He was very thin and very smelly. We took him home, fed him, and cleaned him up. He had no personality whatsoever because he had just been treated like an animal, never as a pet. I knew we had done the right thing by bringing him home but I wondered what in the world we would do with him. I had struggled many times over the years to find good homes for dogs that were much more adoptable than he was. He ran away from us several times and looked puzzled every time we tried to show him affection. Weeks went by and slowly but surely he began to change. He realized we weren't so bad after all and stopped trying to escape. He started to wag his tail and show appreciation for our affection. Eventually we let him in the house. He never once tried to mark anything in our home, he got along with our other rescues, he put up with our children and their attempts to ride him like a horse, and even our cats weren't afraid of him. He is Mr. Personality now and every time I sit on the couch he wants to snuggle. He loves blankets, walks, and treats. I am thankful every day that we didn't give up on him. Some would say he is a lucky dog but I know the truth, that we are even luckier. Buddy was at least 2-3 years old when we found him. I worried that his personality (or lack of it) was "set" by then. But it definitely wasn't. I would love for you to share his story. I wrote it hoping you would, so it might inspire someone to consider taking in a hound dog. Thank you again for helping the hounds, my family and I really appreciate it. Sincerely, Sherri Cooper


Friday, January 21, 2011

Did you know...

...that the Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic has a very important birthday coming up? It's true! The clinic is going to be a year old on February 15th. The only high-volume, low cost spay/neuter facility located south of the James River, it has accomplished quite a bit in its first year. Our veterinarian, Dr. Laura Drinkwine, has performed close to 4,000 spay/neuter procedures since we opened. That number includes animals being adopted from Chesterfield County and Prince George animal shelters, Richmond Animal League, privately owned pets, and feral cats. If I were good at math, I'd calculate how many unwanted litters those procedures have prevented. But numbers involving that many 00000000's are tough.

A Very Proud Moment as the
Clinic is Delivered.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Did you know...

...that we get by with a little help from our friends? It's true. Richmond Animal League has a vast network of volunteers, fosters, and loyal donors. We also have the support of many local businesses--and we can't thank them enough. Last Friday Josh from Canine Adventure took one of our long-timers, Henson the Hound, out for the morning. Henson has spent the better part of a year living in a run at RAL. Morning and evening volunteers take him out for walks, but his outing on Friday included woods, big rocks, the river, dirt, sunshine, and Josh. Canine Adventure recognizes how good it is for dogs to get out and go. They describe their services as such: We're offering your dog the thrill of discovery, the challenges of obedience, the opportunity to make new friends and learn from the old ones, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Time spent with Canine Adventure will prove to be a highlight in your dog's life. Canine Adventure provides Richmond's dogs with a healthy mix of exercise and social interaction, along with the necessary rules and boundaries set by an experienced, patient, loving handler.

We'd like to offer our thanks for what certainly was the highlight of 2011 for Henson. We hope this hound's year just keeps getting better and better. We can't wait to deliver the news that Henson has been adopted. Stay tuned.

Henson the Hound

Did you know...

...that you don't have to decide on a specific pet before filling out an adoption application? It's true. You can fill out the application, we'll call your references and work on stamping it APPROVED. An approved, open application means that you can keep visiting the shelter until you find the perfect pet for you. Once you fall in love you won't have to wait to start life with your new friend. Bringing a new pet home is an important decision, and we want it to be the right decision for you and your pet. Take your time. Visit us often, we like to see you.

Racer could not decide what color she wanted her eyes to be.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Did you know...

...that being a pet owner helps you problem-solve? It's true. Animals teach us that walking in the rain is not impossible, eating the right amount of food is good for us, and that if you feel stuck, and the gate out is locked, you may have to dig under to get through. Instead of tying us down, our pets can teach us to be flexible, and figure things out. RAL's adoption counselors work with our visitors to find the perfect match for them. You can visit us Tuesday-Friday from 4:30-8:00 p.m. and on the weekends from noon-4:00.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Did you know...

...that sporting RAL apparel makes you very cool? It's true. Just check out these cool cats for proof. We have sweatshirts from youth sizes to XXXL. You need one. Stop by the shelter or our awesome thrift store ( 13547 Midlothian Turnpike) to pick one up.

Cynthia Reed, Victorious Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah Perkinson, Awesome Adoptions Coordinator
Susan Kelly, Sadly Moved to Pittsburgh
Sharon Cornett, Ruler of the Free World

Did you know...

...that Sharon Cornett, the president of our board, has been recognized as the very first Pet Person of the Year by Family Dog Digest and Kat Simons! It's true. For a very long time people were talking about how awesome it would be if local rescue groups could work together to increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia rates in the Richmond area. Richmond Animal League, Ring Dog Rescue, and Chesterfield Humane Society formed Metro Richmond Pet Savers (MRPS) to do just that. The first MRPS adoption event was held in April of 2010. The participating groups have been able to find homes for more than 500 animals since then--and MRPS is going strong! Click here for details about where MRPS will be each month!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Did you know...

...that Apollo Ono met a little girl named Hannah yesterday--and fell in love? It's true. Hannah, who will be two years old next week, and her dad came in to donate some cat food and see some "diddy dats." The diddy dats loved her, and she gave them all equal attention, but Apollo Ono was especially smitten. He's a little LaPerm cat, but he came up to Hannah's waist and kept standing right in front of her if she was making a move for another cat. When we went back to see the puppies, Apollo Ono waited at the door for us to return. At the end of the visit, Hannah said goodbye to Apollo in the appropriate way (and by that I mean that she put him in a headlock). Apollo is sitting around thinking of Hannah today and wishing he had a little girl to play with every day.

Apollo Recovers

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did you know....

that the courage of one little dog can help other dogs find a home? It's true. See if you can follow all of the good news as is unfolds here.

1) In January of 2010 Squire, a little beagle, gets left behind when his owner moves away. Squire is not alone. There are 7 other beagles with him, and four of them die before neighbors alerted authorities. Squire and the surviving others ended up in RAL's care to wait for permanent, loving homes.

2) After falling in love with his funny dancing and side-eyed looks, we ran a story about Squire to let everyone know that it was time for him to go home. We shared the story on Facebook.

3) A woman in Fort Campbell, KY saw the story--and a picture of Squire. She wanted to get him a cab and get him to Kentucky as fast as possible. Instead, she asked if she could pay the adoption fee for Squire to increase his chances of finding a family. Soon after, Squire was adopted.

4) Squire's new family saw other hounds while they were at the shelter meeting Squire. They saw Henson, who has been at RAL for almost a year, and Michelle, who is one of Squire's buddies. They wished that they could take them all home. Instead, they asked if they could pay the adoption fee for Henson and Michelle so that they, too, could find homes like Squire did!

5) With hunting season ending, shelters are seeing an increase in hound dogs and RAL is working hard to find homes for them. An adoption special is announced in which the fee for adult hounds is reduced from $125 to $75.

6) MEANWHILE, back at Fort Campbell....the person who fell in Squire and paid his adoption fee sees that Henson and Michelle are still here--and are being joined by more and more hounds. She wonders if she can help. Our Fort Campbell hero has offered to pay $25 toward the fee for any adult hound--bringing the final fees to $50 through the month of January.

7) Is a reduced adoption fee the only reason to get a pet? No. But if you are ready, could you keep this story of happy endings going by opening your heart to a hound dog? Yes.

We are constantly amazed and humbled by the generosity of our community. And now our community extends all the way to Kentucky and back!

That's worth a howl.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did you Know...

...that RAL's Loving Spay and Neuter Clinic has performed close to 4,000 surgeries since opening less than a year ago? It's true. The problem of homeless pets doesn't begin only when an animal is abandoned or its owner can no longer provide care. The problem begins when unwanted litters are born. The clinic provides low-cost spay and neuter services and is open to the public. For information and appointments, call 804-379-9725.

As you can see, Max is very content with services he received at the clinic this week.

Post-Op Max

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did you know...

...that more than 90 cents of every dollar raised is available for programs and services that directly benefit our cats and dogs? It's true. RAL was formed by a group of volunteers more than 30 years ago. We have blossomed into an organization that is rescuing close to 900 animals a year. We operate a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic, organize monthly adopt-a-thons for the local coalition known as Metro Richmond Pet Savers, work closely with county shelters to spay and neuter adopted animals, and our volunteers will make up the core of Chesterfield County's Community Animal Response Team as it is formed and implemented in 2011. But we won't forget our humble beginnings. We could not do what we do without the support of our community. The best way to honor the hard work and commitment of our volunteers and donors is to be good stewards of every donation that comes our way. If you ever want to see your dollars at work, contact Amy at for a tour of our facility.

Here are some other stats you might enjoy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Did you know...

...that Pippy came to RAL after being rescued from an animal hoarding case? It's true. Many hoarders believe that they are doing the right thing, and are fearful that their animals will be euthanized if they are turned in to a shelter. Often, more and more animals are taken in until there are so many that one person alone could provide adequate care. Pippy and the other cats were suffering and had ringworm when they arrived at RAL. They are all healthy now, and most have been adopted. Pippy, Prince, Apollo Ono, and Lollipop are still waiting for homes.

Did you know.....

....that every Sunday a dedicated group of volunteers spend their day introducing our animals to the public? It's true. Christine Wheeler, Edie Hensley, Susie Massey and others take available animals to the PetSMART store on CarMia Way. The ultimate goal is to find permanent, loving homes for the dogs that they take each week. But even if a perfect match isn't found, and they came back to the shelter without anyone having applied to adopt them, the dogs have a wonderful time. They get to see people, people get to see them. They get attention and love, and they may even do some product testing--like Aiden here, testing out a new bed.

RAL finds homes for more than 800 cats and dogs a year. There is no way that would happen without the support and hard work of our volunteers. Thank you, PetSMART Adoptions Team!!