By RedRover Relief Program Coordinator II, Laurel Meleski
In November, my colleague Rachel and I had the privilege of working alongside our amazing RedRover Responders volunteers on a special collaboration to help domestic violence victims and their pets in Longview, Washington.
Working together with Rescue Rebuild, our task was to transform three rooms at Emergency Support Shelter (ESS) into pet-friendly, co-sheltering spaces.
Melissa Emerzian wanted to teach her nine-year-old daughter, Kate, the importance of giving back to the community, so she and Kate joined RedRover’s family of On-Call Angels in 2015. After reviewing several RedRover Relief cases, Kate got to choose the pet she wanted to personally help.
Here is what Kate had to say about her experience of giving back as an On-Call Angel:
Joe was the smallest of five kittens when Karen rescued the whole litter from an abandoned barn and adopted them into her family. As a single mom working three jobs, Karen is so grateful for the joy the cats bring to her and her son, especially when things get tough.
Cat has dedicated her life to rescuing and caring for abused and neglected animals. So when she heard that Sammy, an 87-year-old desert tortoise, needed a new home, she couldn’t turn him away. Although it’s difficult to know exactly what his life has been like throughout his many years, the damage to his shell was clearly an indication of abuse.
RedRover’s Domestic Violence Safe Housing grants provide funds to help domestic violence shelters become pet-friendly, so that no one has to choose between safety and family. This groundbreaking program continues to grow and make a powerful impact on domestic violence survivors and the people who help them.