An Interesting bit of irony

By Jeremy Slayton
Updated: August 26, 2009

Robin Starr

Robin Starr

RICHMOND, Va. — A dog belonging to Robin Starr, chief executive officer of the city’s SPCA (Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), died last week after being left alone for about four hours in her car.

Wednesday morning, Starr and her husband, Ed, cried while recounting the story of what happened last Wednesday morning in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch at the SPCA’s offices.

Ed Starr said that last Wednesday, as his wife prepared for work, he put the couple’s 16-year-old dog into her Volvo station wagon. She often took the dog — a deaf and blind mutt named Louie — to work with her, according to the couple. He was her favorite dog, she said.

Robin Starr arrived at work about 8 a.m. without realizing that the dog was in the car, they said. Ed Starr said he forgot to tell her Louie was in her car.

“I just forgot . . . and didn’t think about it until I got this frantic phone call from Robin. I knew immediately what I had done,” he said today.

About noon, Robin Starr went to her car to go get lunch, and that’s when she noticed Louie in the car. She took the dog inside to the SPCA clinic, then to an emergency veterinary clinic in Carytown. The dog died about midnight of kidney failure, the Starrs said.

“At 16, he just laid down where you put him and didn’t make a peep,” she said. “He never made a peep in the car; he’d just lay there in the back.”

According to the National Weather Service, last Wednesday’s temperature in Richmond was 79 degrees at 8 a.m. and had reached 91 by noon.

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.

Robin Starr has been an outspoken critic of Michael Vick and his role in a Virginia dogfighting operation, and of several local residents who were charged with animal neglect that led to animal deaths.