By Katie Campbell, RedRover Outreach and Partnerships Coordinator
After completing my RedRover Responders training in November, I didn’t expect the opportunity to deploy so quickly. But in February, when thousands of families were forced to evacuate during the Oroville Dam crisis in Northern California, RedRover was called in to assist North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) in providing emergency sheltering in Chico, not far from our Sacramento-based office. Along with my colleagues, Susie and Laurel, I set off for my very first deployment caring for animal evacuees.
When we arrived at the temporary shelter, I was so humbled to see all of the volunteers – from RedRover and other organizations – who came together to help over 300 animals. It was a fantastic reminder of just how compassionate and empathetic humans can be. Together, we cleaned cages and gave animals food, fresh water, warm bedding and loving care while they awaited reunification with their owners.
During the two-day deployment, I bonded with animals like Maggie, a terrier mix who started out timid and frightened in the back of her cage. After some gentle coaxing and a bit of patience, she eventually let me put the lead on her for a walk. As soon as she got out of the cage and into the open, she was more peppy and relaxed. With each visit, she came to the front of the cage more quickly, eager to go for her walk.
I left knowing that I had done something good. I feel fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to help in a time of crisis.