DANCE FOR THE RESCUES
Yesterday, Life Unleashed staffers got to partake as volunteers in a wonderful non-profit event Dance for the Rescues held at the Custom House Plaza, State Historic Park, Monterey, California. This event was established in early 2010 to support the critical work of animal rescue groups committed to making a difference in the lives of at-risk animals and their caretakers. The dance event benefits for non-profit animal rescue organizations. Beneficiaries of the event are Animal Friends Rescue Project (AFRP) and Peace of Mind Dog Rescue (POMDR) – raising more than $87,000 for the two organizations in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. It also features and supports other animal rescue groups committed to making a difference to animals in need.
OPERATION FREEDOM PAWS
We also learned of other organizations doing wonderful things to help promote the care and well-being, and awareness of animals. The first group we encountered with a booth at Dance for the Rescues was Operation Freedom Paws. Operation Freedom Paws empowers veterans and others with disabilities to live a quality life by teaching them to train their own dogs, and certifying them as service dog teams. The dogs, usually from rescue organizations or shelters, are carefully evaluated. Each is then matched to a specific client’s physical and psychological needs.
Another California based non-profit we learned about is Red Rover based in Sacramento. This organization offers three great programs. According to the Red Rover web site, the first program is Red Rover Responders which 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. The second program, RedRover Readers offers a unique community-based literacy program that helps children explore the bond between people and animals through stories and discussion. Thirdly, RedRover Relief Provides financial and emotional support to Good Samaritans, animal rescuers and pet owners to help them care for animals in life-threatening situations and resources to help victims of domestic violence escape abusive environments with their pets. Fortunately, you need not be California based in order to volunteer and help spread the word of Red Rover’s mission. Volunteers live throughout the United States and Canada, and stay connected to RedRover through email newsletters and by working directly with RedRover staff and fellow volunteers. As a volunteer-driven organization, volunteers play an essential role in RedRover’s work.
PETS OF THE HOMELESS
This amazing organization Pets of the Homeless is based in Nevada yet provides services throughout the United States. According to information provided on the Pets of the Homeless web site and from statistics given by the National Coalition for the Homeless their estimates indicated that 3.5 million people in America are homeless and between 5% to 10% of homeless have dogs and/or cats. In some areas of the country, the rate is as high as 24%. Most people who experience homelessness are homeless for a short period of time and usually need help to find housing or a rent subsidy. Unfortunately for those with pets it becomes more difficult. Many are forced to choose between their pet or a roof over their head. Surprisingly, most choose to stay on the streets with their pets because pets are nonjudgmental; provide comfort and an emotional bond of loyalty. In some cases, they provide the homeless with protection and keep them warm.
Pets of the Homeless has three types of programs:
- Providing Pet Food to homeless and less fortunate across the country
- Veterinary Care for Pets of the Homeless – Funding to veterinarians that go to where the homeless congregate and provide veterinary care such as vaccines, spay/neuter and other needed treatments.
- Pet Sleeping Arrangements at Homeless Shelters – Many homeless with pets do not have access to the necessary resources to move out of a state of homelessness because there are no accommodations for homeless with pets. We recognize the need for homeless services to fill a gap left by not allowing pets into shelters. Due to the homeless’ commitment to their animal companions many rarely seek services that could truly help. Free crates are awarded to homeless shelters looking for ways that allow pets sanctuary with their owners.