February 2nd, 2024
By Laurel Meleski, Director of Operations
The start of a new year is always exciting for the RedRover Relief team. We reopen grant programs that were closed down at the end of the previous year, and look forward to new people and pets we can help. This year is even more exciting because we’re piloting a new grant option for our Safe Housing grants. With our March 1st grant deadline, we’re offering grants of up to $100,000 to homeless shelters across the country so that they can create pet programs for the unhoused people their shelters serve. For many unhoused people, the unconditional love and sense of safety that their pet provides is a guiding light helping to get them through a dark time. These pet programs will provide spaces for pets at homeless shelters so that no one will have to choose between finding a safe place to stay and keeping their best friend.
We’re continuing our work on our 25 by 2025 campaign to help 25% of domestic violence (DV) shelters become pet friendly by 2025, thanks to the generous support from PetSmart Charities! When RedRover began offering Safe Housing grants, only about 3% of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. welcomed survivors and their pets; today nearly 19% provide pet-friendly spaces! We couldn’t do this without the generous support from our partners. Our Purple Leash Project (PLP) partnership with Purina has helped to elevate the issue of the lack of pet-friendly shelters through celebrity and influencer spokespersons, mass marketing, special brand packaging and so much more. Our Don’t Forget the Pets collaborative project with Greater Good Charities is powered by PetSmart Charities, and allows us to conduct trainings across the country to help DV, homeless, and animal shelters build pet-friendly spaces. This combined with the amazing support of our donors and volunteers, has kept us rolling steadily toward this ambitious goal!
One program that really highlights the need for more pet-inclusive DV organizations across the country is our Safe Escape program. The program covers the cost of pet boarding, while a survivor resides at a DV shelter that is unable to accommodate pets. Our Safe Escape program launched with a slow start in 2007, but now that the program is in its 17th year, many people not only recognize, but rely on this program. And we’re so grateful – in 2023 we received a record number of requests for assistance and were able to help 459 people and 338 animals with 13,760 nights of safety. So far, it looks like 2024 is going to continue the trend of an ever-increasing need for this help. With your donations we can make sure that survivors across the country can continue to find safety with their whole family.