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!)
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!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Red Paw Emergency Relief Team recently celebrated 5 years of service in the Philadelphia area, doing what no other nonprofit is doing in the Nation! They are an Emergency Services organization with a unique and admirable mission. The work they do for families & pets who have experienced disasters in their homes is remarkable, to say the least. When families have no where to turn following a disaster, Red Paw is there to help and provide a safe place for pets to stay until they are reunited with their family. What a great service they provide for our community, they truly deserve everyone's support.
It hasn't always been easy but it has always been rewarding.
Thank you to our former clients for allowing us to get to know you, your family members and pets, of course.
What I've learned is that recovery - whether from a disaster or an injury that is the result of a disaster is like grieving - it's a very individualized, difficult and personal experience. Often accepting help from others can be difficult as well. But working together along the way truly improves the lives of our clients, and has enriched my life for sure! And for that I am grateful.
Red Paw has offered me many challenges as COO and President of the Board but with the support of my partner, our volunteers and the selfless love of our displaced pets, we rise to meet that challenge.
And each day, we problem solve and work through problems together, we continue to help more families each week, month and year. We always fulfill our Mission and that's what running an NPO is truly about - at its core.
Red Paw is an amazing organization which is focused on ensuring that all family members are cared for during a residential disaster. I personally know of many families that have received Red Paw's assistance and whose families would have otherwise been torn apart if not for them. They are one of a kind!
This organization is amazing and I am proud to be on their Board.
Red Paw volunteers respond 24/7 365 days per year to help animals in need due to a fire or disaster.
I have volunteered with them in many capacities, including fostering and facilitating reunions. It's the most rewarding feeling to have taken care of an animal and then returning the animal to is family. I am always humbled by the gratitude of the families I have helped.
One of the most amazing, practical, invaluable nonprofit services I've ever encountered. Unique in its mission and infinitely necessary. Run by caring, competent people who nurture their clients and their volunteers alike. When the city's first responders know to call this team, you know you have quality. YOUR donations of money and time will never be wasted when you help out Red Paw Emergency Relief Team to help pets displaced and injured in emergency situations.