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Red Paw Disaster Response – Assisting Displaced Pets and Their People

According to the United Staes Fire Administration, there are over 1.3 million house fires every year in the United States. These terrifying family disasters affect every walk of life and everyone in the home. Most communities have relief ready for the human victim, but what about the pets? One organization out of Philadelphia, the Red Paw Emergency Relief Responders, is working with firefighters to assist pets who are displaced by disasters in their homes. Jen Leary, a firefighter, started the response team. After seeing families traumatized in fires with surviving pets and nowhere to go with them, Leary set into action to make sure the whole family received support when most needed. The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency service nonprofit organization run by firefighters that work to provide emergency assistance, including search & rescue, emergency transport, shelter and veterinary care to animals involved in fires and other residential disasters.

With assistance from YOUR donations, The Red Paw Emergency Relief Responders have assisted more than 1,000 companion pets and 750 families displaced by fires and other residential disasters in the last eight months. Their team searched, found and transported more than 30 critically injured pets to emergency care and successfully reunited 99% of the pets with their families.

The Red Paw Responders always go above and beyond to relieve the suffering of those affected by fire, but the case of Snappy the cat shows their complete dedication to helping people recover from the trauma. The Philadelphia Fire Department deployed Red Paw to the scene of a fatal house fire to find Snappy cat for the family who had just lost two children in the incident. The anguished surviving siblings were so concerned that Snappy had perished as well. Red Paw Responders were able to pull Snappy Cat out safely and provide oxygen on scene bringing some relief to the distraught children.

The family just lost two children – young boys aged 3 and 6, and they were concerned about Snappy. She was such an important part of the family and a connection to the children they had lost. Understandably, the parents needed time to grieve and to recover, so Snappy cat stayed at Red Paw Headquarters with the founder for one month while the family planned the funerals for their small boys, buried and grieved their loss and went to stay with family while the house was repaired. Snappy’s family called every week to check on her and when they couldn’t, they texted, and Red Paw sent pictures for the girls. They missed her terribly.

One month after the fire, the father messaged that the girls needed Snappy back and that they, the parents, needed her as well.

The father sent humble thanks to the team: “Thank you! This gives me a piece of my home back again with all the pieces I’ll never see again.” There is not much that we can do when a family suffers such an unbearable loss, but Red Paw has gone a long way in helping this family heal by providing support and care for what is most important to them.

Together we can save more pets like Snappy cat and give hope to their families as they recover. Please click here to donate.


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by denisebash, August 7, 2017