By Carol Hazard
Proceeds from the sale of a house off Patterson Avenue in Henrico Country will go to the dogs — and the cats.
Money from next week’s auction sale of the 2,425-square-foot brick house in Sunset Hills will benefit the Richmond SPCA. The minimum bid is $130,000. The house is assessed by the county for $380,600.
The house was gifted to the SPCA by the estate of Alice Virginia Thorpe, who had lived there with her twin sister. Alice Virginia “Judy” Thorpe, a pioneer among female doctors who specialized in cardiology, died in 2016 at age 92. Alice Caroline “Callie” Thorpe died in 2015 at age 91.
The sisters had adopted a dog — a medium-size blond cockapoo — from the Richmond SPCA that they adored, said Robin Starr, CEO of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals organization. Their dog died while the sisters were alive.
“I have found over the years that there are a number of people who love animals enormously and many are people of modest means,” Starr said. “They don’t have resources to make contributions during their lifetimes, but they want to leave meaningful gifts to us.”
While leaving a donation to the no-kill humane organization is common, leaving an estate or a house is unusual.
“This is the third house left to us in an estate in the last 10 years,” Starr said.
One was a house in Chesterfield County that also was sold at auction. The other was a house in Baltimore that was left to the nonprofit by a client of Starr’s former law partner.
The client asked if the Richmond SPCA would take responsibility for Beauregard if he were to predecease his dog. Beauregard died first, but the client still left the home to the organization in his will.
The Richmond SPCA has received a total of $257,450 in bequests left in wills in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
The Thorpe sisters’ Henrico house, built in 1951, has a slate roof and hardwood floors. It is at 1112 E. Durwood Crescent, just outside the Richmond city limits and close to the intersection of Three Chopt and Horsepen roads.
“It’s a total rehab opportunity,” said Linda Terry, an auctioneer with Tranzon Fox, the auction
company for the property. “Someone most likely will gut the inside and start from scratch — make the kitchen larger and update the bathrooms. It’s unusual to have a house go for a great price point in that neighborhood.”
The auction will be held onsite at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 at 1112 E. Durwood Crescent. The house will be open for viewing from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.