Red Paw- Taking Care of Pets in a Disaster

We know the Red Cross SEPA Chapter helps people in disasters, emergencies, and crises and in severe thunderstorms, fires and property catastrophes throughout all seasons from the cold winter months to the hot summer days. Many times whole families are tragically displaced from their homes during a disaster and the Red Cross commonly seeks to find them shelter and assist them with a short term and long term plan for recovery. But what happens if the disaster victims have pets? What is their fate? Are they unfortunately left behind? Do recovery services extend to the pets of survivors? That’s what the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team has been working on for a year now. With the help of a dedicated Red Cross volunteer, Jen Leary (pictured), who championed the idea of supporting the pets of disaster victims, the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team was designed.

The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team works in conjunction with the American Red Cross SEPA Chapter and partners with them at an emergency disaster scene.  As soon as a Red Cross responder finds that there is an animal companion of a survivor at the scene of a disaster, Red Paw Emergency Team responders are alerted and spring into action to meet the needs of the beloved animal and to transport them to the appropriate facility. The Red Paw Team is an emergency response and animal welfare nonprofit that supports the Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties. Displaced pets are cared for and kept up to 30 days, until family members are able to take them back. Family members are not charged for this care, instead all basic pet care due to a disaster is free of charge. Red Paw is able to make this happen through the generous support of donations. To find out more about Red Paw, Click here.

Jabril Redmond, guest, volunteer blogger

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