When a house fire occurs, it is nearly impossible to keep a clear mind and strategically think through all of the decisions that will affect your family in the days to come. What is left? How much was lost? Where can you go? When will life go back to normal? In these arduous times, the fate of one family member can escape you. What happens to your dog? Or your cat?
What if your closet family is hours away? Or what if your indefinite shelter isn’t pet friendly? As any animal owner can tell you, our pets are the lifeblood of our families, giving us happiness and comfort even when we face our darkest days. They teach our children their earliest lessons of friendship, they grow with us through our experiences and we grow with them through theirs. In a way, they become our soulmates. And even though their lives may be a fraction of ours, we love them unconditionally from their first days to their last. Our companions shouldn’t have to live through an uncertain fate after disaster strikes.
Jennifer Leary became a firefighter in 2006, accomplishing her lifelong dream. After stints with the American Red Cross, Philadelphia Action Disaster Team, and The Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team, she began to conceptualize an organization that offered help to pets and their families immediately following a disaster. From that idea, she founded Red Paw in 2011, whose mission is to “provide relief and recovery for displaced pets and their people 24/7, and to ensure that ALL family members are taken care of during and after a disaster in their home.” Red Paw provides emergency assistance for animals during home disasters, including search & rescue, emergency transport, veterinary care, and most importantly shelter, until the animals are able to return to their forever home. Due to their outstanding efforts shortly after their founding, Red Paw was named to the city of Philadelphia’s Emergency Response Plan.
Throughout the semester, we will be keeping you up to date on all events, stories, and donation opportunities for this tremendous organization. If you would like to donate at any time, you can do so at http://redpawemergencyreliefteam.com/donate/. They accept monetary and InKind donations, and Employer matching donations as well.