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.