By Katie Campbell, RedRover Outreach Manager

In 2019, our team provided 12 volunteer training workshops and deployed a total of 16 times to assist animals and people in crisis. Five of these deployments were special projects in partnership with’s Rescue Rebuild shelter renovation program to help domestic violence shelters around the U.S. become pet-friendly.

On shelter build deployments, our volunteers trade in their slip leads and litter scoops for hammers and nails, but the work is just as rewarding. Instead of providing daily walks, nourishment and TLC to rescued animals, our volunteers help build “catios,” paint walls and create enriching and comfortables spaces for domestic violence survivors and their pets.

While these are not our usual deployments, I tell our volunteers that their efforts will change lives for years to come. For survivors and their pets, these spaces can make all the difference on their road to healing. In the words of a donor:

“I can understand staying in a situation because you won’t leave your animals. It’s like leaving your children. Most of us can’t do it. Having a safe place to go with our animals can make all the difference.”

Can four walls save lives? For domestic violence survivors and their pets, they most certainly can — when the space is filled with love, compassion and, in this case, a little bit of fur. 

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