RedRover Companion – Summer 2015

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RedRover Readers inspires student to adopt! On-Call Angel Classroom • 712 cats helped in volunteer deployment • Safety for pets escaping domestic violence Ellie Mae says thank you

connect with us

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media to stay tuned to

the latest news and

help spread the word about our work. Visit


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Companion bring a smile to your face

coming to an end! With fall approaching, we are entering “back to school” season, which brings lots of activity in our RedRover Readers program that develops kids’ empathy, including a new e-book app that will be out by the end of the year. If you haven’t already, please

I hope the stories in this issue of

for change and gives us strength to work towards a more compassionate future — together. Thank you for your kindness

and give you the same sense of optimism for the future that I have. There is much

and compassion.

sadness and cruelty in our society, but people like you bring hope. Saving one dog from abuse or watching one young boy fall in love with a cat for the first time reminds us about the potential


Children experience the full circle of helping animals REDROVER is a “full-circle” organization:

To read the full story, visit our website at or email us at

We help animals in crisis through our RedRover Responders and RedRover Relief programs. We also work to prevent animal suffering before it begins by helping children develop empathy toward animals through our RedRover Readers program. We recently put our full-circle model in action and established our first On-Call Angel Classroom.

P.O. Box 188890 Sacramento, CA 95818

Each year, Anika Swisher-Shukuya’s fourth-grade class raises money to donate to charity. This year, they selected

how they could prevent animal suffering. During our visit, we accepted their

RedRover because the children are

thoughtful donation and presented the

passionate about animals. Her students

children with photos of Toby. Afterward,

combined the RedRover Readers

we read the book Max Talks To Me,

program with our On-Call Angel donor

and they made “get well soon” cards

program into one unique giving experi-

for us to send to Toby. The children

ence to help save Toby, a puppy who

were so proud of the difference they

needed emergency veterinary care. They

had made that Anika asked us to come

practiced empathy and saw firsthand

back again next year.




916.429.2457 916.378.5098 info@ TAX ID # 68-0124097 WEB


Companion is published quarterly by RedRover and is distributed to its members. © 2015 RedRover.

For a listing of RedRover’s board of directors and staff, visit:


Sun rises on a bright future for island cats AS THE SUN SET ON MAUI on a warm June afternoon, animal lovers across the Hawaiian island could rejoice, knowing that hundreds of cats were destined for a better future — and millions of future feline lives would be saved. Your support made it possible for RedRover Responders volunteers to deploy to Hawaii for the Trapped in Paradise project, a humane population reduction effort for Maui’s free-roaming cats. In partnership with Animal Balance and the Maui Humane Society, our RedRover Responders volunteers assisted with the sterilization and care of 712 cats. As part of the “trapping team,” our volunteers trapped cats from high-

microchipped and to receive any

came to her door, but she was over-

population areas and returned them

necessary veterinary care.

whelmed. We set up humane traps

to the Trapped in Paradise clinic to be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and

Maui community members also joined in by bringing in their pets

outside her door and near her garden area and waited. In no time, the seven cats and kittens

Your support made it possible for RedRover

she regularly fed were trapped and ready. We carefully loaded them into

Responders volunteers to deploy to Hawaii for the

the van and took them back to Maui

Trapped in Paradise project, a humane population

Humane Society where they were

reduction effort for Maui’s free-roaming cats.

spayed and neutered. The woman was so grateful for our help, knowing that future cats would not have to suffer.

and other free-roaming cats for spay/ neuter— an important step in keeping

“We can see first-hand how this makes such a difference to people, and to

Maui’s cat population under control.

these cats,” said RedRover Emergency

Because of caring people like you

Services Manager Beth Gammie.

who support RedRover, hundreds of

“Being able to work on the front lines

cats were able to get the veterinary

and see the change in this community,

care they needed. We visited one apartment complex in central Maui where there were tons of free-roaming cats, including many kittens. An older woman there tried her best to feed and care for the cats who

both for the cats and for the people, and what that means for the future of this island — it’s so incredible.” To see photos from our latest deployments, visit us on Facebook:


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Ernesto’s kitten

By Nicole Forsyth, RedRover President and CEO


not sure if they were ready for the

kitten’s “purr” or “meow” means.

responsibility and wasn’t even sure

Ernesto, a first-grader who lives in an

how to go about finding a pet, so she

apartment with his mother and sister

contacted Ernesto’s teacher.

in Los Angeles, California, didn’t

Susan, a dedicated teacher of over

understand what it meant when cats

30 years and avid animal rescuer,

purred until his first-grade teacher,

connected the family with a local cat

Susan Courtney, introduced him to

rescue. She helped Ernesto find his

the RedRover Readers program. The RedRover Readers program helped Ernesto to understand cats and inspired him to ask his mom for

“purrfect” cat, Phoebe, gave Phoebe her vaccinations and even made a spay appointment for Phoebe. Ernesto told us he liked cats before

a kitten — but he insisted it had to

the program, but he didn’t under-

be a rescued kitten! Ernesto’s mom

stand that cats were like family or

did not grow up with pets. She was

that you could communicate with

Volunteer Spotlight: Jason



made her a member of our family.

Hopefully, with this kind of early

opportunity to volunteer, I was happy

Sasha regained her health and became

introduction, animals will see much

to find RedRover and learn of their

a beloved companion until old age

less crisis and much more care.

mission. One of the books in particular

and failing health called for her

from the RedRover Readers program,

to be peacefully put down.

Buddy Unchained, made me feel a

As I held her and

personal connection because of our

watched the life fade out

life with our rescue dog, Sasha.

of her eyes, I was over-

Sasha was a white German shepherd

whelmed with so many

mix who we rescued from a neglectful

emotions about how she

home. She was chained to a small, dirty

touched all of our lives

area of concrete for most of her life.

and how grateful I was for

Patches of fur were missing from her

our time with her.

body and revealed irritated sores. Her

I really appreciate how

ears were covered with crusted blood

Buddy Unchained and the

from fly bites. She greeted us with fierce

RedRover Readers program

barking while flies buzzed around her.

bring awareness to young

I knew that we couldn't leave her there.

minds about mistreatment

We took Sasha home that day and


companion SUMMER 2015

and proper care for animals.

them. “I didn’t know what a purr was,” Ernesto told us, “but then, I learned.” I had the opportunity to visit with Ernesto, Phoebe and the rest of his family at their apartment, and they couldn’t be happier with their new pet. Ernesto’s favorite things to do with Phoebe include playing with her, feeding and carrying her around the house. Ernesto’s mom thinks Ernesto is more responsible now because of Phoebe.

The RedRover Readers program helped Ernesto to understand cats and inspired him to ask his mom for a kitten — but he insisted it had to be a rescued kitten! Phoebe, who is a very playful kitten, had the run of the house during my visit. Ernesto said his friends kept telling him he should get a dog, not a cat, but now they all want to come over to see Phoebe. When Phoebe finally took a break from playtime, I asked Ernesto how he felt to hear Phoebe purr. He told me, “happy,” and his smile filled the room. Do you know an educator who wants to change the lives of children and animals? Tell them to join us for the next RedRover Readers online training course starting in October:

Ernesto told us he liked cats before the program, but he didn’t understand that cats were like family or that you could communicate with them. “I didn’t know what a purr was,” Ernesto told us, “but then, I learned.”


Thank you for being Clark Kent’s WHEN JENNIFER PRESSLER needed

officer at Sojourner Center. “He was

help to escape domestic violence

very much a participant in helping.”

with her beloved tabby cat, Clark Kent,

Through your generosity, we awarded

your support brought them to safety.

the shelter with a RedRover Safe Housing

Clark Kent the cat, Jennifer, and her

grant to help fund the creation of the

son, Robert, escaped from their abuser

Sojourner Center Pet Companion Shelter—

and fled to the Sojourner Center in

and in May 2015, they became the first

Phoenix, Arizona. But when they arrived

domestic violence shelter in the Phoenix

at the domestic violence shelter, the

area to allow survivors to bring their

pet lodging area was still being built—

pets with them.

and Clark Kent wouldn’t have a place to stay. “We were going to leave and

Now that the shelter is finished, Clark Kent has been reunited with Robert and they are living in a safe

I didn't have anywhere to go,” said

place — together. “It feels good to know

Pressler. Thanks to your support, we

that I'm here right here next to my cat,

provided a RedRover Safe Escape

and he's here whenever I need someone

leave and I didn’t have

grant for Clark Kent to stay at a local

to comfort me,” Robert told Phoenix

anywhere to go.”

animal shelter until the Sojourner

news station FOX 10.

Center finished building its pet

“We were going to

— Jennifer

companion shelter. Although Clark Kent was safely

Because you made RedRover’s Safe Housing grants possible, the pet shelter will help more families like Clark Kent,

boarded at the local shelter, it was

Robert and Jennifer. For now, the facility

hard for young Robert to be separated

has room for eight cats, eight dogs and a

from his dear cat during such a traumatic

few birds and fish. Sojourner Center Pet

time. Robert wanted to help with the

Companion Shelter also has plans to

construction of Sojourner Center’s

develop a workforce readiness program

Pet Companion Shelter in any way he

to teach animal-related skills to domestic

could. “He’d come in every day,”

violence survivors who are interested in a

said Teri Hauser, chief advancement

career working with companion animals. Hauser hopes the success of the program will inspire other shelters nationwide. “We know pets can have such an impact on people’s well-being.” We are so grateful that caring members like you are part of this effort to help pets and their families escape abuse together. THANK YOU. Be sure to join us in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month by signing up to receive email updates:


companion SUMMER 2015


“It feels good to know that I’m here right here next to my cat, and he’s here whenever I need someone to comfort me.” — Robert


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Abused puppy loses leg, finds love ELLIE MAE is an adorable beagle pup

Facebook and applied for a RedRover

who was rescued from a very bad

Relief grant. The RedRover Relief

situation when she was only 10 weeks

program provides financial assis-

old. Her rescuers saw how she was

tance to pet owners and good

being neglected and abused, and

Samaritans to help with the cost of

convinced the owners to give them

veterinary emergencies. With a dona-

Ellie Mae. They contacted their

tion from a RedRover On-Call Angel,

granddaughter, Danyelle, to see if

Ellie Mae got the surgery she needed.

she’d be willing to bring Ellie Mae into her home, and she said yes! When Danyelle took Ellie Mae to the veterinarian, they discovered that her femur had been broken, likely for several

“I am so thankful for you all for helping with her!”

weeks. Because the leg hadn’t healed properly, the only option was amputation. Because Ellie Mae’s rescue made her a surprise addition to the family, the

After the surgery, RedRover received this update from Danyelle: “Her surgery went well and Ellie Mae

cost of surgery wasn’t in their budget.

is just fine! Running, jumping,

Danyelle was desperate to find a way to

climbing stairs, and playing like she

pay for the puppy’s expensive treatment.

doesn’t even miss the other leg. I am

Danyelle learned about RedRover from an animal-lovers group on

so thankful for you all for helping with her!”

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