This year brought no shortage of challenges – but thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide lifesaving care to thousands of pets and families this year. Check out our special Year-in-Review to see how each of RedRover’s programs brought compassion, comfort, and new beginnings to animals and their people.
The challenges of the past couple years have been felt throughout the world, and have had a lasting effect on our RedRover Relief program. Due to financial pressures and hardships from COVID-19, we continue to see a high need for assistance with emergency veterinary care through our Urgent Care Grant program. To date in 2021, we’ve helped nearly 400 pets receive lifesaving veterinary care – pets like Jax, a playful cat who had a urinary blockage and needed hospitalization, and Molly, a young pup who ate something she shouldn’t have and needed an emergency surgery. These two sweet pets will now be able to spend the holidays at home – happy and healthy – with their families.
Through our domestic violence assistance programs, we are helping more people and pets than ever before escape abuse together. We’ve received a record number of Safe Escape Grant applications this year, and provided nearly 8,500 safe nights of boarding for pets. We also increased our Safe Housing Grants from $20,000 to $60,000 to help domestic violence and animal shelters create housing programs for pets of domestic violence survivors. With this grant increase we also received a record number of applications – which means countless more people and pets across the country will be able to find safety together.
In response to the pandemic last year, we launched the Emergency Boarding Grant program to provide funding to board pets of those who are hospitalized or too ill with COVID-19 to care for their animals. The need for this program has continued throughout 2021, and we have been able to provide nearly 500 nights of boarding for 30 animals. For Stephanie, this grant meant that she could focus on her recovery while knowing her dog, Monkey, was safely boarded:
“I am beyond words…THANK YOU…now I can really rest and get better.”
The lifesaving impact of these grants is hard to put into words. We hear it everyday in the voices of our grant recipients, in the testimonials of the domestic violence survivors, and in the stories of the animals who received a second chance. For every pet who is able to curl up on the couch with their human again, or enjoy another walk around the block, our supporters like you are the reason we can provide these life-changing grants. Pets like Jax, Molly, and Monkey thank you!
Our RedRover Responders staff and volunteers traveled thousands of miles in 2021, deploying to eight states to help more than 2,500 animals. True to our mission, we answered the call for a variety of needs where pets and people were in crisis.
In the spring we had the opportunity to connect with our friends at the Humane Society of the United States to help care for dogs rescued from South Korean meat farms. We helped with the same rescue in October 2020, so our team was thrilled to see the progress of dogs in the shelter’s behavior program as well as meet new pups just starting their journey.
The months of April, May, and June brought a trio of domestic violence shelter builds in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Maine with our partners at Rescue Rebuild. As the summer began to heat up we headed to Texas to support the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter with an animal hoarding case, before making our way to California on three occasions to support the animals displaced by rampant wildfires in August and September.
We closed out the year supporting our biggest community cat clinic partnership yet with Greater Good Charities in Hawaii, followed by a special community initiative with the Humane Society of Marlboro County to build secure enclosures for dogs living outside in South Carolina. We’re so grateful we have your support to continue doing the good work!
In alignment with our organization’s commitment to making all of our programs more inclusive and representative, RedRover Readers added its first program book featuring a Black family called Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield. We continue to search for inclusive literature, focusing the next year on finding Native American-authored titles featuring the human-animal bond. We are working with the Sacramento Native American Health Center to incorporate Native-centric, animal-themed literature into the RedRover Readers program and are very excited by the progress we have made together so far.
To keep everyone safely distanced, we continued to offer virtual workshops and readings. In 2021, 95 teachers, humane educators and volunteers completed our virtual workshops and even implemented some readings in person. Newly-trained Angie Sagliani said, “When I signed up to take the RedRover Readers course, I felt like I had stumbled across gold. The animal-themed books are a great way to engage youth audiences.”
We also worked closely with the Long Beach Parks and Recreation Center and the Boys and Girls Club in North Chicago in 2021 and continue to schedule professional development workshops for staff into 2022. With the incredible support of all of our trained educators and volunteers, this year alone the RedRover Readers program reached over 100,000 students!
This year, the Kind News team examined the way the magazine reflects diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We worked closely with our educational DEI consultant, Dr. Worokya Duncan, to analyze Kind News content for representation and inclusivity. We are always excited to receive feedback about how the magazine impacts students. In response to one of our surveys to subscribers, a fifth-grade teacher from Woodbridge, VA, relayed:
“Many students in our school don’t have pets and have no access to animals. They love seeing the pictures and learning about the animals and how to care for them.”
With the pandemic still impacting in-person classroom attendance, we continued to provide a digital version of each new issue to all subscribers and teacher contacts. Educators reportedly loved having easy access to the magazine for their classrooms, and many found that it helped them meet their students’ social and emotional learning needs – needs that the pandemic brought to the forefront. Tara Dukanaukas, a third-grade teacher in Oakland Park, FL, shared:
“This is a great additional resource for our required Social-Emotional Learning curriculum, as students learn to be respectful and kind to animals and to other people. My students love it and find the articles interesting, educational and engaging.”
In 2021 we reached a whopping 129,441 students with the magazine! We couldn’t have done it without your amazing support.
To learn more about how you can adopt a classroom or subscribe for a class or child you know, visit KindNews.org.
It’s has been an exciting 2021 for our collaborative Don’t Forget the Pets project with Greater Good Charities’ Rescue Rebuild program! Earlier this year we launched our brand-new website which includes information about our upcoming events, training handbook, and a discussion forum. Although COVID-19 put a halt to in-person events for most of the year, we’ve been blown away by the interest from communities around the world to learn, connect, and support each other in creating pet housing programs.
To date, we’ve trained nearly 190 representatives from domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, animal shelters, veterinarians, funders, and individuals interested in learning more. Our goal is to help more communities gain more knowledge and confidence about helping people and pets in crisis – and we always walk away from a training workshop feeling like we’ve learned, too! As our network and knowledge base grow, we’ll continue to update the website, training workshops, and the coaching program to advance this movement, so no one has to choose between safety and healing.
Interested in attending a workshop? See a list of our upcoming events.
Help us continue our lifesaving work for animals in 2022. Your year-end gift will support all of RedRover’s programs, helping pets and families find safety and comfort when they need it most.