Sprite’s Story

What Is Humane Education?

Humane education examines the challenges facing our planet and explores how we all might live with compassion, empathy and respect for everyone, including animals. Sprite’s Hero volunteers incorporate humane education into their volunteer work by exemplifying the values that drive our organization:

  • honesty, integrity, compassion, and fun - among volunteers, Board members, staff, our patrons, and the community we serve;
  • education at all levels & building confidence and compassion in children and ;
  • animals and sharing humane treatment of animals with the children we serve.
Sprite: Our Canine Executive Officer from 2006 to 2012.

How Sprite's Hero came to be:

The DOG – hanging her head in a crate in front of Ukrops – small, messy, unspayed, untrained – with a joie de vivre and an overflowing love for humans of every kind.

The BOOK – in a stack at a used book fair -  Therapy Dogs – how to train them and what they bring to people’s lives.

The BOND - In 1999, fate and Chris Miller shared the book with the little white dog, and their future was created. Sprite’s career in therapy work spanned nearly 13 years, and 1000’s of lives were and continue to be changed.

Sprite’s Humane Education and Research Organization was founded by Chris & Sprite in 2006 with a goal - to bring humane education programs to students around Richmond & conduct research to support the positive effects of that education.

The organization started administering the Paws to R.E.A.D. ® program with 10 volunteers in 1 library in the summer of 2006.

It became a Virginia 501c3 nonprofit in 2009 and is currently an all-volunteer organization.

Little Sprite left us in 2012, but her compassion lives on in the canine and human friends who continue to empower students all over Richmond.

Our Mission

Sprite’s Humane Education & Research Organization increases confidence and compassion in children throughout Greater Richmond through the power and mystery of the human-animal bond.


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“I would make education a pleasant thing both to the teacher and the scholar. This discipline, which we allow to be the end of life, should not be one thing in the schoolroom, and another in the street. We should seek to be fellow students with the pupil, and we should learn of, as well as with him, if we would be most helpful to him.” — Henry David Thoreau

Support students all over Greater Richmond!