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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Our mission is to assist displaced pets and their people 24/7, free of charge to ensure that all family members are taken care of during a disaster at their home. We are a 501(c)(3) emergency response nonprofit organization staffed by firefighters and veterans that works in conjunction with the Philadelphia Fire Department and other emergency relief organizations to provide search & Rescue emergency medical care, emergency transport, and emergency shelter for animals involved in residential fires and other disasters.

Results: From July 25,2011-July 25, 2017, Red Paw has helped 4,065 pets displaced, injured & missing due to disasters in their homes. Provided S&R for 1,097 pets missing in fire/disaster buildings, emergency Shelter for 1,605 pets, emergency medical care for 2,335 injured pets, emergency transport for 1,411 displaced pets & pet food & supplies for 2,066 families. In 2012 we participated in a Hurricane Sandy Pet Supplies Drive where we delivered items donated by individuals and local businesses to pets along the East Coast displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Target demographics: Families with pets affected by residential fires and disasters.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 900 displaced pets in over 2 dozen counties and 2 states

Geographic areas served: Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties & parts of New Jersey.

Programs: Emergency Services Emergency Response Disaster Relief Emergency Vet Care Animal Welfare Social Services

Community Stories

90 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I thankfully have not needed the help of this dedicated group of people who go to every fire to be there in case they are needed to assist pets displaced by fire..Just knowing there is a group like this helping gives peace of mind.

Chumley S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We all want to think that every non-profit is run by dedicated people and passionate volunteers that maximize every penny and make a real difference in the lives of those they serve each and every day. Red Paw ERT is all that and more. Saving and reuniting beloved pets and family members at what may be the worst time in their lives is the kind of work that deserves your support, financially and in any way possible.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Each and every week I am in awe of the work that Red Paw Emergency Relief Fund is able to accomplish - via social media I track just a portion of the lives they have impacted, and it is nothing short of heroic. When I think of a family who have just lost everything having to worry about the safety of their beloved animal[s], I am thankful that these brave volunteers exist.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can’t express enough my admiration for what RP does. It’s leadership is as committed as any I’ve ever witnessed. While I have not personally needed RP’s services, I have seen them in action from the beginning, first as Red Cross worker to my current role as a significant corporate donor. I’ve seen the impact and difference they make first hand No one makes the most of its donations better than RP.

Joan A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing group of people. Available any time, day or night, to find and care for family pets after a fire.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I watched in horror as mY friend posted pictures of what was left of her home after a fire last year.. once I knew she was ok my thoughts went to her cat Abner .. afraid to ask that question I was relieved to lean of this amazing organization “ Red Paw” and that their trained members had not only located Abner but were prepared to offer any medical assistance he might need.. that was just the beginning .. they took care of him while my friend was trying to come up with a plan... they housed him, fed him and when she was able to find temporary housing.. set him up with all the things he would need so she didn’t have that extra stop at the pet shop ... these organization is just amazing ... the comfort they bring the people going through tragedy is incredible... every city should have a Red Paw!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

All non-profits do their best to help. But RedPaw serves a unique need in a selfless, 24/7 manner. Getting out of bed in snow, ice, rain snd heat to not only look for/rescue the animals from a fire scene, but also to make sure that the humans know that someine xares about their dear pets. I so afmire their work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work in the news and often write up stories about fires affecting our community. For every fire, without fail, I can see that Red Paw is on the scene and helping all animals as needed. I'm so glad that our furry friends -- who often go missing or take a backseat to humans under the circumstances -- have a dedicated group of people to care for them in these tragic events.

Gayle N J.

Donor

Rating: 5

Several years ago, a neighbors apt filled with smoke when the apt below caught fire. The couple got out, but they could not get their 2 cats out at that time. They were obviously distraught. While the firefighters were still fighting the fire, the Red Paws volunteer arrived, crates and other equipment in hand. She was calm and reassuring to the couple that their cats were most likely hiding, and she was prepared to help. Once given the okay, she went in, and within 30 minutes came back out, cats in crates, and after discussion with the fire victims, took their pets for medical attention. The volunteer's professionalism, and reassuring demeanor, made me look further into this wonderful organization. I am now a supporter and follower of the amazing work that Red Paws does everyday and night!

Elaine C. M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Red Paws saved my three cats when our hotel building had a fire and all of the tenants were evacuated. They took such great care of them for the month we were homeless and brought them back in excellent health and condition. They even got their shots and had them neutered for free. Losing your home, being homeless is hard enough without having to worry about your pets also going through such a traumatic experience. I was able to stay in touch with the team the entire time and all of us were so happy to be reunited! Thank you from the bottom of all our hearts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As salaam wa alaikum Hi my name is Amina Mya Thomas I'm 27 years old I was married my husband passed Jan 15th of this year and I gave birth to his first child Feb 6 of this year I have two boys the oldest son name is Amir and my7th month old son name is Jabril Ibn Shaheeds Castro it's been hard taking care of two kids with no help my family turned there back on me because I'm Muslim it's very bad to where me and my two kids r getting put out on the streets I put my pride in the way and not ask for help but I'm being a woman and putting my pride to the side and I'm crying out for help with food, Islamic clothing for me and my two boys and most of all a place we can call home.......

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

24/7/365 Red Paw Emergency Relief Team does what no other organization in this country does - responds to help not just people affected by fires and residential disasters but the pets as well! Taking care to make sure the whole family is taken care of when disaster strikes!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

A one of a kind 24/7/365 Emergency Response organization for pets and their people!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was the manager at the doggy day care which also serves as the emergency intake room for any dogs that Red Paw rescues. Working there was my first exposure to what this wonderful organization does. Getting so see these precious pups come in, usually smelling of smoke, nervous, and confused, then providing them the love and care they need (baths, affection, reassurance), and finally witnessing the reunion with their families, really gave me an insider's look at all the work Red Paw does, and all the lives they help save. They provide a service that is not offered anywhere else in the country, but which is so greatly needed. It is truly an honor to be able to help this organization, the families affected by disaster, and all the pets involved.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Red Paw on at least thirty serious (2n2) fire scenes, and each time I observed professional, caring, expedient Red Paw staff (most often the founder Jen herself!!!) doing whatever had to be done to ensure that displaced animals are given proper care, for free, very quickly, and with an incredibly high success rate. Red Paw is filled with professional civil servants who dedicate their time and energy to animal altruism, and they truly deserve recognition. Extremely proud to support them in any way I can.

1 deckondelmar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team does amazing work rescuing animals involved in home fires and provides medical care, if needed, & foster services until the individual or family has recovered and are able to take their pet(s) back. Volunteering for them since 2012 has been an inspiring and educational experience as a Foster Mom and working the crowd at so many events and I'm so grateful for the experience. Super organization!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm sure you have seen the dog paw car magnets that say "Who rescued who?"! That is how I feel about Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. I had been looking to volunteer & lucky me found Red Paw last year on Facebook & I was hooked. I have been a part of some Fire Safe Fridays distributing needed Red Cross & Red Paw fire safety info & batteries for smoke alarms & also at a few events this year representing Red Paw educating the public on the amazing work Jen Leary & her team do to aid animals after a fire or other disaster. Being a Foster Mom has been amazing and my most rewarding "job" ever, especially when the fire victim(s)/family are reunited with their pets which is the main goal of Red Paw.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Very early Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend, I stood on the sidewalk in my robe, slippers and little else.
I watched as my life was alternately consumed by fire and pounded by a river of water.
As I watched, a firefighter approached me and asked me if I had a pet.
I was terrified by what news he might be about to tell me.
When he asked to describe my cat,
all I could verbalized was, "He's fat."
He reaches his arms out wide and said, is he about this big?
When I nodded, he said, "he's safe. I have him. Would you like to see him?"

And Fat Abner was OK.
Sooty. Scared. A little smoke inhalation- but OK.

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team took care of Abner until I got settled in a hotel.
They called me and gave me updates.
And when I went to pick him up, he was clean and treated for fleas.
They handed me a litter box, litter, a bag of food, a carrier, a kitty bed and toys!!!
They called it a "Reunion Package"
They are so kind and thoughtful.
They have checked on his progress in his new home.
And they ask for NOTHING!!!
Not to diminish what othe animal charities do- they are all amazing.
But what these guys do goes beyond that.
They have dedicated firefighters who are specially trained who go in and save often fourlegged, sometimes winged, some furry, some with shells or fins, but always beloved members of the family.
When you lose so much, there is nothing more comforting then knowing you haven't lost the unconditional love of (and I use this word because there is a better one) a pet.
I have met the founder, Jen Leary, and many of the people who work tirelessly with her.
They are generous, optimistic and amazingly dedicated.
I am lucky I live in philly, because they haven't the resources to expand to other cities.
Hopefully, one day, everyone who needs Red Paw will have a local chapter!!!
Not only do they need funding, but they need even greater community awareness.
(Oh- I forgot- not only do they save and care for the animals, they also spread the message of preparedness and fire safety!)

Client Served

Rating: 5

Red Paw responded when my sister's house was destroyed in a fire in March. They made my sister, husband and their dog feel at ease during such a traumatic event. The volunteers brought everything a dog could need or want to the hotel. Thank you Red Paw for all of the wonderful work you do!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Red Paw almost since it was founded by Jen Leary . The organization is amazing and it has enriched my life . It is an incredible feeling to lift up the spirits of people who have lost parts of their lives to fires and other events. We who love our pets as our children know what they mean to us . I love this organization and look forward to doing what I can into the future to help!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As an animal lover, and a mom to 7 cats I used to worry about what would happen to my furbabies in the event of an emergency. I no longer have that worry about my furkids care since I live in Philadelphia, and Red Paw is here to help when needed.

I am a monthly donor and I follow their work on Facebook. My heart hurts when people have to leave their houses and pets because of fire ... but you ALWAYS see a Red Paw vehicle on the spot lending a helping hand to both people and their animals. The smiles on the peoples' and pets' faces when they are reunited actually brings tears to my eyes.

Thank God we have Red Paw in our area and I hope this program will be copied in other cities.

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Donor

Rating: 5

As an animal lover, I appreciate what Red Paw stands for and does. They understand the bond that we share with our furbabies and recognize that their welfare is important to us. If faced with an emergency where I have to evacuate my home, I am comforted knowing that Red Paw would be there to care for my babies until I can care for them again.

I've watched Red Paw grow, and I am amazed that they can do so much. I consider myself fortunate, that given a disaster Red Paw is here.

Linda251

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Totall 100 percent commitment to helping all animals and by extension people in the City of Philadelphia!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

This unique organization helps pets of all types when their homes have been destroyed by fire or other disasters. I am happy to have the opportunity to be involved and help!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a devistating house fire with 11 animals in the house. Red Paw stepped in and made sure the animals had everything they needed food, bowls and toys. They took the time to make sure all of the animals had places to stay and we're safe. I can't thank them enough for everything they have done.