Nonprofit organization using the grant to give animals a second chance at life


A RedRover Relief grant helped Naia get the urgent care she desperately needed.SACRAMENTO, CA (January 8, 2013) – RedRover, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to be used by the RedRover Relief program. RedRover will utilize the award to provide funding to low-income pet owners, Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and victims of domestic violence to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation’s grant to RedRover helps people like Robin Evelyn of Lawrenceville, Georgia, and her dog, Naia. Robin was unemployed and had been living out of her car with her two dogs for over a year. After one of her dogs passed away, Robin was heartbroken and Naia, her beautiful gray American Staffordshire terrier, was all she had left. When Naia developed masses on her hind leg and chest, Robin was desperate to find a way to get treatment for her beloved companion but she had nowhere to turn for financial help. Robin reached out to RedRover and received a RedRover Relief grant which covered the majority of the cost of Naia’s surgery – and saved the dog’s life.

Since the program’s inception, RedRover Relief has helped thousands of animals like Naia receive lifesaving treatment. In 2012, RedRover Relief helped save the lives of over 500 animals. As the economy continues to put a strain on people’s finances, many caregivers believe that they only have two options when their pets become sick: to have them euthanized or surrendered to a shelter, where euthanasia rates can be as high as 80 percent. By providing essential funding and resources, the RedRover Relief program and the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation are working together to save lives and preserve the bond between people and their pets.
The economic downturn has greatly increased the demand for RedRover Relief grants, which are funded solely by private donations. “The demand for our services has exploded in the last few years, but the donations that fund our program have declined,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. RedRover hopes to double the budget for this program by 2015. “We are grateful for the support from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation,” she added.

In addition to issuing lifesaving grants, RedRover Relief case managers also point applicants to other financial assistance programs, advise them on working with vet clinics and help them start their own fundraising efforts through Facebook and other online sites.

For Robin, RedRover’s work to save Naia was truly a relief. “One day I pray I will be able to ‘pay it forward,’” Robin said. “Thank you. My heart is overwhelmed with joy.”

Online reviews from RedRover Relief grant recipients and other supporters earned the organization the 2012 Top-Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofit rating by GreatNonprofits. Learn more about RedRover Relief’s crucial work at Now in its 26th year, RedRover focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care and humane education.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families and pets in need of a helping paw.  With the sale of each full-sized Bearemy’s Kennel Pals friend – a collection of Build‑A‑Bear Workshop plush dogs – one dollar is donated to domestic pet programs including local animal shelters, stray pet rescue and rehabilitation organizations and pet education programs around the country. These funds are available to qualified nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada. Visit for more information.


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