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She received a bad health diagnosis. Now she’s donating her estate toward all Richmond spay, neuter surgeries.

RACC created a program in honor of the anonymous donor's generosity
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Posted at 7:02 PM, Sep 18, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- For decades, Bob Barker famously implored his viewers to "get your pets spayed or neutered" at the end of each episode of the Price is Right. Thanks to a significant donation by longtime volunteer at Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), Richmond might have its own Bob Barker, in a sense.

"That’s amazing! She’s the Bob Barker: spay and neuter your pets. . . she would love that!" said Christie Chipps-Peters, the director of RACC, about the donor.

The longtime volunteer, who chose to remain nameless, recently received a health prognosis that was not positive. The woman plans to now donate a significant amount of money each year to cover thecost of having pets living in Richmond spayed or neutered, at no cost to the pet owner.

"She has helped so many animals in house here with their end of life care. She’s been a hospice foster for us forever," Chipps-Peters said. "It is a fund that is named in honor of her dogs: The Kara and Eden Project.”

"Her idea was that the only way we’re going to be able to make a big impact and reduce the number of unwanted pets in the city or surrounding counties is through spay/neuter," Chipps-Peters continued. "She had planned to leave her some money in her estate and she wanted to see her funding making a difference, and we’re so blessed to be able to participate in that. It’s a beautiful gift that I think a lot of people need at this time.”

The cost of the spay/neuter procedure can be a barrier for many families. Chipps-Peters said the cost ranges from a couple hundred dollars to nearly a thousand dollars in some cases.

“I mean that’s a mortgage payment for some people, so we don’t want money to be the reason you’re not spaying and neutering your animal or why you’re not able to," she said. “It reduces their interest in roaming off your property, it reduces cancers in female and male dogs, and it’s just a much healthier process for everybody.”

Shelters everywhere are swarmed and controlling the pet population through responsible pet ownership is a way of helping that, Chipps Peters said. RACC hopes to provide the procedure for at least 100 dogs before the end of the year as a way of honoring the love the volunteer is showing.

"We’re hopeful this will bring the focus to anyone in need and reach out to us and see how we can help you because that really is this volunteer’s goal to make a big impact, and we’re really grateful that we’re the people who get to do it for her," Chipps Peters said.

RACC volunteers will provide transportation to and from appointments for pet owners who do not have reliable transportation.

You can email savannah.hughes@rva.gov or call (804) 646-5573 to sign up.

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