When there's a crisis — fire, flood, building collapse — you get the picture, one small group of volunteers swoops in to help rescue pets. The efforts of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team were recognized by the City of Philadelphia during National Volunteer Week.
"Red Paw volunteers respond to all kinds of emergencies, conduct search and rescues for pets at the scene, transport displaced pets, foster the pets or find new homes for pets who can’t be reunited with their owners, and more.” said Deputy Mayor Gillison during Monday's ceremony.
"These stellar volunteers are indeed the heart and soul of this organization."
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Since 2011, volunteers for Red Paw have responded more than 900 times to emergencies in more than a dozen counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, according to Philadelphia's Office of Emergency Management [OEM]. Most of those efforts — 70 percent — happen in Philly and the vast majority are fires.
"I am so honored and excited to receive this recognition from OEM and the City," said Jen Leary, founder of Red Paw Emergency Relief Team in a statement. "I couldn't be more proud of what Red Paw and our dedicated volunteers have accomplished. They are the best of the best at what they do and we could not do what we do without them."
The group has helped more than 1,600 animals and have been able to reunite displaced pets with 8 out of 10 families affected by emergencies.
"Red Paw volunteers exemplify the tremendous power of individuals who can bring about social change by working together toward a common goal,” said Samantha Phillips, director of Philly's OEM.