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Week 38: Richmond SPCA

Dear Batter Up friends, meet Carrie and Lauren—two of the adoption counselors at the Richmond SPCA!

I am a great many things and dog person is most definitely in the upper echelon of that list. I absolutely love them. I prefer the big goofy ones that you can wrap your arms around and, in return, give you huge sloppy kisses. But I’m certainly happy to cuddle with the small fluffy ones that capture your heart with their little neck nuzzles. Even the yappy ones that just won’t calm down are awesome in their own right. Therefore it only made sense that on National Puppy Day I would bring some attention to these amazing little creatures and give them some much needed attention.

Last week was the first week of spring (despite the fact that spring is nowhere to be found in Richmond, VA.) And, in honor of new beginnings and all of the hard work that these people put in day-in and day-out to find these little guys and gals their new forever homes, I decided to make the staff’s cold, dreary Sunday a little sweeter. I had never been to the Richmond SPCA before because I know what’s in danger of happening if I go there. (As I left for the delivery my brother reminded me several times that this was a delivery, not a pick-up.) I didn’t really know what to expect and all I had to rely on is what I’ve seen on TV in those horrifically sad Sarah McLaughlin commercials. I’m happy to report that it was nothing like that at all. It was bright and clean and welcoming. There were tons of rooms with glass windows where the dogs were hanging out—not small dirty cages or kennel runs. There was a birthday party going on in another room and the staff couldn’t have been more friendly and welcoming. (Of course, I did have a cake in my hands so that typically warms most people up, right off the bat.) I was so relieved to see that these animals were in such great condition, with such caring people around them.

The Richmond SPCA became a no-kill shelter in January 2002 and has saved over 35,000 lives since then. If you’re interested in adopting you can visit their Robins-Starr Humane Center on Hermitage Road seven days a week or you can check out their website and see where their mobile Tail Wag’n is going to be. (I freaking love that name!) For those of you that don’t know, the Richmond SPCA is currently running a Mutt Madness special for the month of March where all dog adoption fees are 15% off. If you’ve been considering bringing home a new family member, this is a great time to make that happen. And let’s not forget about the cats! Every Friday is Feline Friday and you can get 25% off the adoption fee. Seniors (60 or older) who adopt seniors (5 or older) are eligible for a $50 adoption fee and their Pets for Patriots program offers special discounts to active-duty service members and veterans. Adoption fees always include spay/neuter services, microchipping, necessary vaccinations, a packet of discount coupons and special offers, and more. Not to mention the best gift of all—a new grateful family member that will bring endless love and joy to your heart and home. If you can’t adopt a new family member right now, consider volunteering. They can always use your help.

Of course, like most non-profits, the Richmond SPCA has lots of events that help support them financially. Most recently they held their annual Dog Jog 5K Run which raised more than $140,000. They also have an annual Fur Ball. (Seriously—these names are killing me.) The Fur Ball is consistently ranked one of the best annual benefit galas and most creative charitable events in Richmond. And yes—it’s a pet-friendly black-tie event. How often do you get the chance to parade your best four-legged friend down the grand staircase at the Jefferson Hotel?! And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key there is always the progressive dinner which happens in private homes on adjacent blocks of Monument Ave. Buy a ticket for this April event, get cocktails/hors d’oeuvres/dinner/dessert at various homes, take home an awesome swag bag, and get a chance to win some items in the raffle and silent auction. What a cool fundraiser! And if you want something even more low-key, check out their supper club listings which happen every month. All you have to do is go out to dinner at a designated restaurant on a designated night. Boom. Done. Someone else does all the work and you’ve contributed to the cause.

What you may not realize is that the Richmond SPCA does more than just pet adoptions. In 2012 they opened the Clinic for Compassionate Care which is a full-service veterinary clinic providing high-quality care at a low-cost for pets of income-qualified families in the Greater Richmond region. They offer tons of pet training classes and behavior resources. If you’re looking to have a little fun with the whole family, they offer a bunch of children’s programming. And, if you’re as ridiculously obsessed with your dog as I am, you can even have a Barkday Party at the Track and Training Center to celebrate your dog’s birthday or adoption anniversary with other dog friends and all the fixin’s. (And yes, you can even get a customized doggie cake.)

Whether you support them by adopting, attending one of their events, volunteering, or writing about them on your blog and social media channels, please support this organization. As someone who worships the ground my dog walks on, I can attest to the love and joy that these beautiful creatures bring to life. I could not do what these SPCA employees do on a daily basis. It would be too hard for me to see these animals without a spot on the sofa, in front of the TV, with cookie jar in the other room with their name on it. But their work is so important and it can’t happen without your support.

Ok, enough sappiness. Now for this week’s cake! It was a Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cake with a Coconut Glaze from Bon Appetit. (Recipe found here.) If you’re looking at the picture and thinking that the glaze looks a little invisible, you’re almost right. I completely forgot to make it for the test cake and didn’t notice until I went to make the real one. (Realizing that little nugget of information made me a little less offended by my brother’s comment that the test cake was dry. Oops!) And I had a little bonus treat for the dogs—homemade peanut butter dog cookies. I don’t have a recipe for you on those. They came out of a dog treat cookbook that I bought years ago. And, I’m sorry to say that the cats never crossed my mind until I was getting in the car to go on the delivery. I don’t even know what cats eat? Luckily I don’t think they noticed.