Dying RACC volunteer donates life savings to spay and neuter dogs: ‘It’s so her’

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A longtime volunteer at RACC is donating money every two weeks to help spay and neuter dogs in the city after being recently diagnosed with a terminal health condition.

The volunteer, who doesn’t want to be identified, says she wants to see a difference being made in something she’s passionate about: dogs.

With this money, the director of Richmond Animal Care and Control, Christie Chipps Peters, said the Karen and Eden Project is being created to get dogs fixed.

“The premise of it is to really help anyone in need who can’t afford to spay or neuter their dog if they live in the City of Richmond,” said Chipps Peters.

Chipps Peters said this donation shows the volunteer’s personality.

“It’s just so her, she’s just the best, so for her to think of such a really wonderful way to make a big impact is just a really big blessing all around,” she said.

The program is restricted to city residents only, so you must have proof of residency. It’s only for a limited area because of how busy RACC gets.

In the last 4 days, 26 dogs arrived at the shelter.

“It’s pretty consistent that we have so many animals coming into our shelter,” Peters explained.

The shelter is teaming up with nearby veterinary clinics to get dogs spayed and neutered. For example, the first dog being spayed/neutered is happening on Tuesday at Jones Veterinary Care on W. Leigh Street.

These donations will also help RACC pay for more than animals in one shelter.

“If they’re already a client of theirs, but they can’t afford spay/neuter, we’re building in a process where they just pay for that and bill us,” Chipps Peters said.

The short-term goal is to spay or neuter 100 dogs by year’s end. The long-term goal is to create a subsidy to help Richmond families with the cost.

Chipps Peters understands the financial toll it can take owning a dog, and getting them fixed isn’t always the top priority, but with this project, it can be.

If you’re interested, reach out to Savannah.hughes@rva.gov.