I've been a supporter and Responder volunteer with RedRover for several years and have always been impressed with the organization and their many accomplishments. Being on the board has provided me the opportunity to become more involved with the programs, staff and other volunteers who share my passion with this amazing organization.
Animals have been a part of my life ever since my earliest memories. As a kid I took for granted having pets and keeping them healthy - my mom took care of all the bills, so I had no idea how much taking care of animals can really cost. As I became an adult, with animals that were my responsibility and not my mom's, I started realizing how expensive animals can really be. It's simple enough to budget for the yearly check-ups, but when an emergency arises, too many times people must choose between the health of their animal and feeding their family. Recently, one of my cats unbeknownst to me swallowed some string, which then lodged in his stomach and intestines. My wonderful vets were able to save him, but it was a close call and cost a lot of money. Luckily I was able to afford it. So many are not. I couldn't imagine having to make the choice to euthanize an otherwise perfectly healthy 2 year old cat simply because of cost; unfortunately every day many people are forced to make such a decision. Thank goodness RedRover is there to help. Their wonderful, compassionate staff not only provide financial help, they also provide emotional support and expert advice on how people can raise money on their own to help defray the vet costs. While RedRover can't cover the whole bill, and can't provide financial help to everyone who asks, they always provide a shoulder to lean on. And their other programs are equally wonderful - promoting humane literacy, sheltering animals during emergencies, and helping to go after animal abusers. Their tireless staff believe passionately in their work and make this a wonderful, effective organization to be a part of.
I first deployed with RedRover (as United Animal Nations) in 2009, assisting in the care of over 400 pit bulls seized in the largest dog fighting bust in United States history. Seeing these beautiful dogs, some with horrific injuries and illnesses, and witnessing their beautiful spirits as well as their ability to forgive and love touched me and changed my life forever. Since that time I have deployed on another 12 rescues, from natural disasters like the Joplin tornado to puppy mill seizures, hoarding cases and cruelty/neglect cases. I have helped care for dogs, cats, horses, birds, goats, rabbits, and many other species of animals in that time. All of these animals have touched my heart and after witnessing so many cases, I wanted to have a larger impact. So in 2011 I applied for and was accepted as a Board member for RedRover. I always knew what a great group of people we had in the field with the RedRover Repsonders but had never met any of the other staff of RedRover. To say I was impressed is a huge understatement; every person on the staff is totally committed to and dedicated to the RedRover mission. I would put them up against the executive team of any Fortune 500 company! And not only are they good "animal people," they are also excellent "people people." I am proud and honored to be a part of this organization and look forward to having an impact on more animals (and people) in the future.
I cannot imagine my life without tail wags to greet my every day. My love for animals continues from my childhood in which my neighbor would allow me to help her with the rescue of all kinds of injured animals in trouble. Years later, I took my passion to Africa, and began to work with Zanzibar Society for the Protection and Cruelty of Animals. As I returned to the states, I wanted to continue my efforts towards being a voice, advocate, and helping hand with animals in need. I researched many organizations and RedRover (at that time United Animal Nations) grabbed my attention with the programs it had to offer. I decided to join as a Responder. Not long after, I was deployed as a RedRover Responder to St. Louis for the largest Federal Dog fighting raid in U.S history. This was a life changing deployment for me. The dogs had taught me the definition of strength by their resilient nature, tail wags, and sloppy kisses despite the immense pain, suffering, and torture they endured by a human hand. It was beyond comprehension. Their eyes, touch, and faces will never be forgotten. In addition, the compassion, kindness, and teamwork I experienced from my fellow vollies were powerful! I was proud to be a small part of an enormous effort. I was proud to be a RedRover Responder. My level of respect for RedRover’s programs far surpassed anything I could ever have imagined. After meeting the CEO and staff, I realized that not only is this a well run organization with several wonderful programs, but also, it is run by extremely compassionate and hard working individuals who all share the love of animals. As a result of all that transpired, I am now humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as a RedRover board director. This is an organization that I whole-heartedly believe in and am committed to its furtherance.
As I type this there is a dog at my feet under the desk and two others sound asleep on beds in my office – I guess that qualifies me as a dog person. In 1994 I began volunteering in various capacities with shelters/rescues and along the way I have worked with many good people. Very rarely do I come across an organization that has the whole package – RedRover is one of those organizations. From an amazing CEO to incredible volunteers to a diverse board of directors, this organization is simply one of the best. Their focus on creating an organization with a strong identity, a solid business foundation and a collection of wonderful people is a formula for success that will have a tremendous positive impact on the lives of many animals.
As a lifelong animal lover, I have always known that my purpose in life has been to help animals and advocate for their needs. In 2011, I was looking for a new opportunity to get involved in an animal protection agency when I first learned of RedRover and contacted their staff about volunteering. After meeting with their wonderful staff (who are incredibly kind and professional) and learning more about the amazing work this organization is doing through its various programs, I decided to pursue an opportunity to join the RedRover Board of Directors. I feel so honored to be part of an organization like RedRover, which has such a positive and direct impact on the lives of animals and people in our communities. I am also incredibly excited to be joining the RedRover Board of Directors and look forward to working with our dedicated team of staff and volunteers to help bring animals out of crisis and into care.
In September 2010, my wife and I lost our Forever dog under unexpected and tragic circumstances. It was devastating to us, and as part of my effort to channel the pain of that loss into something productive, I pursued an opportunity to join the RedRover Board of Directors. (The organization was then known as United Animal Nations.) I have served on the RedRover Board since May 2011, and I can honestly say that it has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. RedRover has an amazing professional staff, led by a superb CEO, and we have incredible volunteers around the country who help bring animals out of crisis and into care. I am so very proud to serve on the RedRover Board, and I am looking forward to working with our team to take the organization to the next level of success.