Building a better world for survivors and their pets.
What better time to pick up those hammers, drills, and saws than during Domestic Violence Awareness Month?
Earlier this month, RedRover and Rescue Rebuild (our dynamic Don’t Forget the Pets duo!) joined forces to help another domestic violence shelter in Rhode Island become pet-friendly. That’s one more shelter that will help survivors and their pets find safety and healing together! We couldn’t be prouder to support the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) on their journey!
This project is particularly special for us since WRC is in one of our DFTP Coaching programs. When we met the WRC team for the first time last year, they already had a great plan in place, but they wanted a little guidance on their traffic “flow” and some of the nuts and bolts on how their partnership with a local animal organization could work. So, Bryn and I joined them to help bring their ideas and thoughts together – and helped them expand on their dream just a bit in the process!
From there, we assisted WRC with some budgeting pieces as they got ready to apply for some grant funding (hint, hint: the next round of application reviews for RedRover’s Safe Housing grants is March 1st, 2023!).
Fast forward! A team of RedRover Responders volunteers worked alongside the Rescue Rebuild crew to create two pet-friendly rooms and build a perimeter fence so pet parents could enjoy some safe quality time outside with their pets, which is an important part of enrichment. We also left them with lots of supplies including leashes, collars, pet beds, and toys (for both dogs and cats, of course!).
A first-time volunteer, Emily from Maine, joined us on this build after completing a DFTP workshop in August. Emily shared:
“I work in homeless services, and so many shelters don’t accept pets. The reality is, it’s incredibly hard to get people in from the cold when they can’t take their pets with them. So, it’s amazing to contribute to a project that will help people find safety without having to give up their pet.”
Also joining the effort on her first shelter build was RedRover’s Community Outreach Coordinator, Ketia Johnson! Ketia is a vital part of our outreach team and DFTP project. Here’s what Ketia had to say about her first shelter build project.
“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience working together with RedRover Responders volunteers and the Rescue Rebuild team to create pet-friendly spaces for folks in the community seeking shelter. Knowing that the work that I’m doing is ensuring that people and their pet companions can have the space they need to heal is truly special. I encourage everyone to consider joining us on our next domestic violence shelter build – you won’t regret it!”
This October – and always – we encourage you to spread the word about pet housing programs and the DFTP project. And, of course, we hope you’ll join us on a future domestic violence shelter build!
Interested in helping with projects like this one? Learn how you can become a RedRover Responders volunteer.
Katie Campbell is the Director of Collaboration and Outreach for RedRover. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Sociology from California State University, Sacramento and has spent 10+ years working in social services. Katie has spoken at several national conferences, including the National Organization for Victim Assistance, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma.