Robin StarrLouie, a 16 year old deaf and blind mix breed dog that belonged to Robin Starr, Richmond’s SPCA director, died last week after being left in her for 4 hours on a day that the temperatures reach 91 degrees by noon.

Now right off you’re going to say hang her, prosecute her, jail her, etc., and I can understand because someone in her position should be held to higher standards than your average person when it comes to animal welfare.  She should know better than to leave a dog in a hot car and no doubt she did and does.

Ok, let’s get to the background on the story… This happened a week ago, last Wednesday.  Louis often went to work with Starr. The story is that her husband, Ed Starr, put the dog in the car and forgot to tell her.  Starr drove to work, not knowing the dog was in the car and didn’t realize it until 4 hours later when she went out at noon for lunch.  The dog was suffering heatstroke.  She took the dog into the SPCA clinic where it was treated then later transferred to another vet.  The dog died later that night of kidney failure.

The SPCA is supporting Starr who is not planning to resign from her position.  At this point there is no word if there will be ant charges brought against Starr or her husband.

Tamsen Kingry, the SPCA’s chief operating officer, said this morning that “the SPCA board of directors does not waver in its support” of Robin Starr. She has been CEO of the Richmond SPCA since 1997. Starr said she does not plan to resign. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

This is bound to be a highly controversial and hot topic.  Starr’s extremely prominent position in the SPCA, a position she’s held since 1997, in an organization that is devoted to “highest principles of humane care and professional treatment of injured, ill, neglected, or abused animals,” all makes for high controversy.  People will either be calling for her head or sending sympathy for this “tragic accident.”

I’ve been speaking with people about this all afternoon and afternoon and there’s a lot of questions…

  • Why did it take a week for this story to come out?
  • How can someone not know there is a dog in their car, even a 16 year old deaf and blind dog that may have been sleeping… a dog still breathes and pants.
  • Is the husband taking the heat for this since Starr is in such a prominent position?
  • What would be the SPCA’s position if something like this happened to “an average Joe?”

A lot of people are seeing a cover-up or something missing from the story…

What’s your opinions on this, what do you think should happen? She she or her husband be charged? She she step down from her position or be fired? Is this just a “tragic accident” that should just “go away” and be forgotten or not?

I have very mixed opinions on this. I’m not sure, if the story as given is true, anyone should be charged but I do think that having her as the face of the Richmond SPCA speaking out against crimes of abuse, cruelty and negligence, is going to be difficult and hard for people to take seriously.

People are threatening to end their support of the SPCA if she remains director… Other animal welfare organizations have so far been slow to speak out. Starr hold a prominent position, she’s also a lawyer and has a lot of clout. The SPCA holds a lot of clout. Not surprisingly Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS has spoken out in support of Starr…

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