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Stories of Connections with Animals & Humans



Reading about rescue operations at Katrina, Ground Zero, Japan’s tsunami and a host of other disasters, I am astounded by the incredible heart of the volunteers who work tirelessly to make it happen.   I cannot imagine anything much more rewarding than rescuing a distressed animal, reuniting an owner with their pet.

The RedRover responders are an integral part of the rescue equation.  I attended a workshop for Red Rover Responders to learn the protocol.  I came away with an enormous respect for the professionalism of RedRover, blown away by their support and passionate community and full of admiration for their dedicated work and contributions to animal welfare.  After passing the required FEMA test, I only need to answer a question to myself.

Can I handle this?

More about the RedRover Responders from below.


Founded in 1987, RedRover focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and strengthening the bond between people and animals through a variety of programs, including emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education.

RedRover is committed to:

Preventing animals from being in crisis by:

  • strengthening the common bond between people and animals
  • helping children explore the bond between people and animals through stories and discussion
  • helping children share information about animals, reflect on the roles of animals in their communities and determine our responsibilities toward them
  • educating people about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars

Bringing animals out of crisis and into care by:

  • caring for animals displaced by natural disasters or rescued from mass cruelty situations
  • providing financial assistance to pet owners and animal rescuers to obtain urgent veterinary care

Mitigating situations of animals in crisis by:

  • offering financial incentives to encourage witnesses to animal cruelty to come forward
  • connecting volunteers and rescuers with opportunities to help animals in need

Through its volunteer-driven RedRover Responders (formerly the Emergency Animal Rescue Service or EARS), RedRover shelters and cares for animals displaced by natural disasters and other crises, such as criminal seizures and hoarding cases, in the United States and Canada.


Volunteer RedRover Responders are the backbone of our efforts to provide lifesaving care and sheltering for animal victims of natural disasters, cruelty and neglect. Volunteers come from across the country and all walks of life, but they have one thing in common: a commitment to helping animals in need.

We welcome volunteers with all levels of experience, from the casual pet-lover to the seasoned shelter worker. All volunteers must meet our qualifications described below and complete our two-part volunteer training program, which includes a half-day workshop and self-paced online training.


What do volunteers do?

Once volunteers complete the training program, they are eligible to be deployed to a RedRover emergency animal shelter. Some of the duties volunteers may perform at an emergency shelter include:

  • Setting up and dismantling the shelter
  • Walking, grooming and socializing the animals
  • Feeding animals and cleaning cages
  • Organizing supply donations
  • Reuniting animals with caregivers
  • Assist with evidence gathering in cruelty cases
  • Assisting with veterinary care by taking notes or transporting animals to and from their cages

Even when they are not volunteering at an emergency animal shelter, RedRover Responders typically remain active in their own communities through such activities as:

  • Organizing additional training classes (such as cat trapping or pet first aid) for other volunteers in their area
  • Representing RedRover at educational events, such as disaster preparedness fairs
  • Volunteering at their local animal shelter
  • Completing online training courses in animal disaster preparedness offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Attending animal handling and behavior conferences or workshops
  • Providing office assistance at RedRover’s headquarters in Sacramento


Mailing address: RedRover, PO Box 188890, Sacramento, CA  95818

Phone: 916.429.2457