Facebook friends help SPCA get through power outage - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Facebook friends help SPCA get through power outage

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A difficult and potentially dangerous day at the Richmond SPCA had a happy ending. After almost 24 hours without power, Dominion Virginia crews finally restored the electricity to the Robins-Starr Humane Center around 3:30 Friday.

A Dominion supervisor told NBC12 it took so long to restore power because the equipment around there is older and needed to be retro-fitted to make the fix.

NBC12 cameras were rolling as power came back on. Yells and barks of joy from four-legged friends and the humans who care for them could be heard.

All Thursday night and most of Friday, however, flashlights and at one point news cameras offered the only rays of light for the animals up for adoption there.

The situation started around 8 p.m. Thursday, when CEO Robin Starr says lightning struck the transformer that powers the facility.

"It pretty well fried it," she described.

No electricity for a center currently caring for 300 animals is challenging to say the least.

"We, of course, need to make sure that the animals in all of our kennel spaces are comfortable in terms of temperature and that they are fed, cleaned, watered, medicated," Starr explained.

We went back to those kennels and found cool conditions. Fans, powered by generators, circulated the air. Veterinarians constantly monitored the temperature to make sure the animals are comfortable and not in danger of overheating.

The SPCA has many Facebook friends, including NBC12 fans, to thank for that breeze. One of our fans from M.A. Williams responded to our post about the situation and dropped off a portable generator.

"Oh, we're so grateful to them, as we are to all of our donors," Starr exclaimed.

Those donors and friends are the ones that made sure while the furry friends were left in the dark, they weren't on their own.

The SPCA does, in fact, have a generator inside the facility, but it only powers the surgical suite. That's to make sure everyone is safe if the electricity goes out during a procedure. It does not provide power to any of the kennels.

Their phone lines were also down due to the outage, forcing the organization to keep people updated on their Facebook page: http://fb.com/RichmondSPCA

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