Short Pump Town Center has asked the community what they would like to see at the mall when they begin extensive renovations in early 2014. Tell them you’d like to see Short Pump Town Center join the growing number of pet-friendly locations in the Richmond area. And the most pet-friendly action of all? Support the adoption of homeless dogs and cats by making retail space available for the Richmond SPCA to open an adoption center at Short Pump Town Center!
Bringing pet adoptions to Short Pump Town Center would increase the mall’s appeal to pet lovers throughout the Greater Richmond region by making a substantial contribution to the Richmond SPCA’s work to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs. Currently, the local non-profit places more than 3,500 orphaned animals in loving homes annually, primarily from our Robins-Starr Humane Center on Hermitage Road. A second adoption center within the popular and stylish Short Pump Town Center would increase the visibility for wonderful animals who long for and patiently await an individual or family to take them home. Placing an adoption center in such a high-traffic area has the potential to exponentially increase the number of cats and dogs whose lives we save each year.
The Richmond SPCA has the capacity to staff such an adoption center with employees and volunteers that would provide the level of customer service expected of retailers within Short Pump Town Center. However, we lack the budget for the retail space. Join us in asking co-owners Pruitt Associates and Forest City to donate space in an act of corporate philanthropy that would demonstrate their commitment to making Richmond a more compassionate community.
Growing awareness of the abuses of puppy mills and resulting public outrage has led to a trend of adoptions from non-profit humane societies replacing for-profit pet stores in malls across the United States and Canada. To their credit, Short Pump Town Center has never been home to any pet store selling puppies. Let’s encourage them to embrace the progressive, lifesaving trend by adding a Richmond SPCA adoption center!
Public opinion is shifting nationwide, and 86 percent of Americans advocate pet adoption according to a recent survey by Best Friends Animal Society that also reported that nine out of 10 people consider themselves pet lovers. Sentiment against pet stores has led many shopping centers across the country to replace pet stores that sell commercially bred animals with adoption centers affiliated with humane rescue organizations. I commend Short Pump Town Center for not having a pet store that sells animals from puppy mills, and I encourage you to take the next step by joining the growing number of progressive malls that give space to a humane society. Pet adoption centers in high traffic areas expose homeless dogs and cats to potential adopters who may not visit a traditional animal shelter.
In 2011 shopping center developer Macerich made this change to wide acclaim. At more than 70 malls across the country, pet stores were replaced with stores offering adoption of rescued pets. According to the website GlobalAnimal.org, “Macerich is proud of their trailblazing pet sale ban and hope to demonstrate that animal welfare is good business.”
Malls push animal adoption centers over pet stores (azcenttral.com, July 22,2012)
70 Malls Across US to Ban Pet Sales (globalanimal.org, October 11, 2011)
As the region’s leading animal welfare organization, the Richmond SPCA is the perfect partner to operate an adoption center at Short Pump Town Center. The nonprofit currently places 3,500 orphaned dogs and cats with loving families, primarily from its Robins-Starr Humane Center. Each animal adopted from the no-kill organization opens room for another dog or cat to be saved, and 75 percent of the pets in the care of the Richmond SPCA are transferred from municipal shelters in the City of Richmond and counties of Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield and Goochland. By giving space for a Richmond SPCA adoption center, Short Pump Town Center can play a major role in saving lives.
Thank you for considering this request, and I hope you will see it as an opportunity for Short Pump Town Center to be part of a lifesaving movement that makes Richmond a compassionate community we can all be proud of.