In honor of National Volunteer Week, we asked our RedRover Responders volunteers to share their experience of deploying with RedRover. Read their stories below.
“It’s invigorating. I thought I was going to be tired every day, and I have found that being around these people that are here for the same reason, from all walks of life, by the end of the day I’m not tired at all...You feel like you have an extended family now.” - RedRover Responders volunteer Donna Gonder, 2016 WA domestic violence shelter build
“I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of my emotions when I arrived. Of course I was saddened by what the animals had gone through, but as the week went by I experienced joy as more and more of the animals appeared to be less scared of us and even somewhat curious. They have a long road ahead of them, but I think we started to prove to them that not all humans are bad or scary. I have a lot of pride for what we did for the animals. I would do this work every day of my life if I could.” - RedRover Responders volunteer, Jefferson County Puppy Mill 2014
“Two others had tried to get a slip lead on Sherman, but he kept fearfully jumping to the back of his kennel. After a couple of minutes though, he came to me and allowed me to slowly put the lead over his head. I walked him to the temporary holding pen and after running around in it, he got behind me and leaned on me. Although I knew that he was not completely over his fear, that was his first step towards trusting someone who was trying to take care of him, and I was honored that I was the person he chose to trust.” - RedRover Responders volunteer, Jefferson County 2014
“When the horses were first brought in on Tuesday night, many stood facing inward, with no curiosity toward the outside world, and there was almost a palpable feeling of hopelessness, as though each horse in turn had given up on ever receiving food or water. Then upon arriving on successive days to volunteer, I found that the mood changed. Horses began to turn around and face the aisles. Each day more and more heads poked out into the aisles with anticipation and curiosity, and any movement of hay within their general vicinity created whinnying and excitement. Hope had returned, and this truly was the highlight of my experience.” - RedRover Responders volunteer, 2009 Cannon County Horse rescue, TN
“The highlight was bonding with a pair of very sick cats who craved attention. One cat was so shy he would not come out of his carrier, but when I went and sat down in his run, he came out, leaped into my lap and gave me kitty kisses and curled up in my lap purring loudly. For that one cat on that one afternoon, his life had some small comfort knowing he was loved. That made all the hard work worthwhile.” - RedRover Responders volunteer, 2012 Caboodle Cat Rescue
"The most rewarding part is seeing some of the dogs come out of their shell, even just a little bit. A tiny tail wag on a dog that had previously been completely shut down was a huge thrill for me." - RedRover Responders volunteer, 2016 Madison County Puppy Mill
“As a RedRover Responder, I have a sense of pride, knowing I am part of a cohesive team of terrific, hard-working volunteers who have genuine concern for the care of animals is amazing. To be able to see the difference RedRover makes in the lives of animals (and humans) during a deployment is not only heart-warming, but it is the essence of what volunteerism is all about.” - RedRover Responders volunteer, 2015 Maui Community cat TNVR
On behalf of RedRover and all the animals you've helped - THANK YOU for being a part of the RedRover volunteer family!