By Devon Krusko, RedRover Field Services and Outreach Coordinator
I was hired as RedRover’s Field Services and Outreach Coordinator in March of 2019. This new position came after a busy 2018 for the RedRover Responders team, with responses to massive fires and cruelty cases, plus rapid growth in our Domestic Violence Safe Housing programs.
In 2019 I was on the road for more than 40 days over an eight-month period – and I’m one of three staff members who were doing equivalent travel! Our year was beyond full. But our hearts were full too, and we are so grateful for the connections, friendships and animals we helped.
We are unique in our work. Sometimes you can find us front and center, like when we worked with our partner, RescueRebuild, to create the first pet-friendly domestic violence shelter in the state of Maine. We were proud to help fund and build a new space where both pets and people could find safety.
Sometimes we’re in the background, like when we set up the temporary shelters for two separate cat hoarding cases, or when we unloaded and settled those same cats into their clean spaces in the stillness and quiet of the wee morning hours.
We deployed our volunteers 16 times in 2019. We answered the call for help at eight cruelty cases, five domestic violence shelter builds, one natural disaster and even two specialty cases. In one of these, we were proud to assist Remote Area Medical at their human and pet health clinic in Tennessee where we worked three different teams around the clock checking in people and their pets, filling out paperwork, preparing animals for spay/neuter surgery, and discharging them back to their people the following day. We also worked alongside the East Bay SPCA when there was an outbreak of Canine Influenza and more than 140 dogs needed to be housed in a temporary shelter for a quarantine period.
This work is monumental, and we believe in sharing knowledge and creating partnerships so communities can prepare for emergency situations and create their own safety plans. We were proud to offer four separate specialty trainings in 2019: two on emergency sheltering, one on how to humanely manage large scale cat overpopulation sites, and a Team Leader training for a group of new RedRover Responders volunteer team leaders so we have the ability to help even more pets and people. We held 12 RedRover Responders volunteer trainings and continue to work towards our goal of having 5,000 trained volunteers standing by to assist during a crisis.
So to you, our supporters, we say thank you. We say it 2,019 times. We say it for the thousands of animals and people who looked to RedRover last year for assistance. We say thank you because we were only able to say “Yes!” to so many requests for help because of you.
With your compassionate support, we will continue to bring animals from crisis to care and strengthen the bond between people and animals in 2020!