In the first few months of my time at RedRover, the chance to work alongside the Don’t Forget the Pets team as a RedRover Responders volunteer became possible with our October deployment to help a domestic violence shelter in Georgia become pet friendly. Liberty House had been trying for nearly seven years to gather the resources needed to create pet-friendly spaces onsite. And during my first deployment, it felt like I was back at summer camp – but this time, working shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded people for an impactful cause.

While we shared housing and meals, we had time to get to know fellow staff and volunteers: what corner of the country they came from, and what motivated them to take the time to help support domestic violence survivors. One volunteer shared that they had wanted to volunteer with the RedRover Responders team for years. Another shared that they work at their local animal shelter and are the resident “crazy cat lady” there, and can’t imagine not being able to take the furry family that they love with them anywhere they go. Another said that they want to help support options for safe escape for people and the animals they love, and volunteer as often as they can.

And the people who came together to make this project a reality had the biggest hearts you’ll find: our volunteers, Vice President of Pet Programs with Greater Good Charities’ Rescue Rebuild program Bryna Donnelly and her rockstar crew; Camille Coakley, director of Community Outreach at Atlanta Humane Society and the folks she brought from the city; and especially Diane Rogers, executive director of Liberty House, and all of her staff who work every day to support their residents, survivors of domestic violence.

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, we at RedRover and Greater Good Charities’ Rescue Rebuild are continuously working to help shelters nationwide offer pet-friendly housing for survivors and their pets to escape abuse, and heal together.

Author Profile
Author Profile
Johanna Casao

With a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from University of California San Diego, Johanna brings 10 years of experience creating heartfelt communications for meaningful causes. She is passionate about education, empathy, and community around animals and the people that love them.