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winter 2014

Rescued from the cold: loving care for 80 dogs What to do when your dog won’t listen • A safe place for feline family members • Lifesaving gift for Chocolate • Building empathy for animals • Children’s book to benefit RedRover

2014 will be a year of growth for

RedRover, and we will need your help

to spread the word about our work.

Please share this issue of Companion

with family members or friends who

love animals as much as you do, or connect with us online to share our


messages. If you’re not already online with us, please join us there so you can

When you support and

hear more stories of the positive impact

volunteer with RedRover,

you make on animals’ lives and the

you are strengthening the bond

people who love them. To view all the

between people and pets with a

ways to connect with us, please visit

commitment to help, shelter and

our website,

connect suffering animals with

I hope you enjoy the stories in this

people who care. Thank you!

issue of Companion: stories about all the ways your support makes a direct impact on the lives of animals.

Children’s book to benefit RedRover We are thrilled to announce that the royalties from a new children’s book from Scholastic, Lucky Dog, will benefit

Together, we will bring even more animals from crisis to care and prevent animal suffering through innovative educational campaigns. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for animals, for all of us! Warmly,

Nicole Forsyth President and CEO

P.O. Box 188890 Sacramento, CA 95818 tel FAX

916.429.2457 916.378.5098 info@ Tax ID # 68-0124097 WEB


Companion is published quarterly by RedRover and is distributed to its members. © 2014 RedRover.

RedRover. Lucky Dog: Twelve Tales of Rescued Dogs is a collection of 12 stories that celebrates the human-animal bond. For each copy of this book sold, royalties will be donated to RedRover and its lifesaving animal programs. Lucky Dog is available wherever books are sold, including Amazon: companion

Winter 2014

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

What to do when your dog won’t listen by Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s hit show It’s Me or the

should be of high value until your dog

Dog, is one of the world’s most recognized and respected dog trainers, known

is responding reliably. When this has

for her insight and passion for positive reinforcement dog training. She has a

been achieved, the high value reward

particular fondness for rescued animals in need of behavior rehabilitation, is

can then be used intermittently.

involved with rescue groups around the world and is an outspoken opponent of

Though food treats are a really

puppy mills. Victoria is an advisory member of RedRover’s Board of Directors.

effective training tool, some dogs are

RedRover and Victoria are teaming up to help more people understand animals and the benefits of positive behavior training techniques. Look for future articles from Victoria and RedRover with tips to help you and people you know strengthen the bonds they share with animals. You can find out more about Victoria Stilwell at Dog owners often tell me that they

motivated by other rewards such as toys, play, praise, or simply being touched. I have trained many dogs using many different types of rewards: a game of tug, a kind word, or a “life reward” such as asking the dog to sit before opening

For so long, people have put

the door and then rewarding her for

can’t get their dog to behave appropri-

the emphasis on their dog’s need to

ately because the dog just won’t listen

be obedient rather than cooperative.

to them. They claim that their dog is

We issue commands rather than

is going to make learning fun for your

particularly unintelligent, but I consis-

focusing on teaching the dog cues

dog, improve her confidence and build

tently find that that is absolutely not

and attaching these cues to actions

up a strong bond between you.

the case. So how do you get Fido to

or behaviors that we want.

Remember, the key to cooperation and

pay attention? Punitive training techniques that

Motivating your dog to learn these

complying by going for a walk. Whatever you decide to do, a reward

compliance is trust and motivation, and

cues, using rewards that make her feel

the more exciting and valued you are

center on gaining control of your dog

good, will go a long way to getting

to your dog, the more she will listen to

by dominating her into obeying can

the response you desire. Any reward

you in every situation.

damage the human-animal bond, causing your dog to mistrust you and essentially switch off. You want to be the source of good things in her life so that whenever you need her attention, she will give it to you.

RedRover and Victoria are teaming up to help more people understand animals and the benefits of positive behavior training techniques.

Photo by Bill Adler

RedRover responders

Rescued from the cold: loving care for 80 dogs “It’s cold, cold, cold!”

the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries

reported Beth Gammie, RedRover

et de l’Alimentation du Québec, or MAPAQ,

Emergency Services Manager.

oversaw an investigation that led to their

It was late November and the Florida

rescue. Dogs were found roaming as well

resident had just arrived in rural Quebec,

as chained up on the property, with little

Canada, where 80 neglected dogs

to no shelter from the elements and snow;

and puppies had been rescued from

many were discovered to be emaciated.

inhumane conditions. Huskies and shepherd mixes —

MAPAQ and Humane Society International (HSI) specially requested RedRover

including pregnant adult dogs and

Responders volunteers to provide care

newborn puppies — were living on an

and socialization for the rescued dogs.

outdoor lot in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region in severe wintry weather when

RedRover Responders volunteers from Canada and the United States alike quickly mobilized to the

Dogs were found roaming as well as

emergency shelter —

chained up on the property, with little to

and fought a nasty blizzard along the

no shelter from the elements and snow;

way to reach the

many were discovered to be emaciated.

rescued dogs and puppies. But in true

RedRover Responders spirit, our volunteers geared up and dug out their snowcovered cars to care for the deserving dogs over the Thanksgiving holiday. While many families spent Thanksgiving cheering on their favorite team, watching the parade, or sharing a meal with loved ones, RedRover Responders volunteers were there caring for the dogs. One volunteer cancelled the Thanksgiving dinner she was hosting because she wanted to deploy. Another volunteer started a donation drive for the dogs and collected items for the temporary shelter, driving four and a half hours one way to drop off the donations during the icy winter. At the emergency shelter, RedRover Responders volunteers focused on


companion Winter 2014

providing warm, loving care and social-

from their families under daunting

ization for the animals. They cuddled

weather conditions. But, despite what

puppies, walked adult dogs and showed

these amazing people encounter on

the 80 rescued animals that humans can

deployment, RedRover Responders

be a source of comfort and love.

volunteers tell us they wouldn’t have

When our volunteers sign on to join RedRover, they volunteer for an emotional

it any other way, if it means being there for the animals.

While many families spent

“I am amazed and elated every

Thanksgiving cheering

unfamiliar sleeping conditions and, in this

single day at the dedication shown

on their favorite team,

case, a Thanksgiving holiday spent away

by RedRover Responders volunteers,”

journey, long hours with few breaks,

Beth said. “I believe we have the best volunteers in the world.” Watch the video: See our volunteers bring these dogs and puppies closer to their forever homes by visiting

watching the parade, or sharing a meal with loved ones, RedRover Responders volunteers were there caring for the dogs. One volunteer cancelled the Thanksgiving dinner she was hosting because she wanted to deploy.

RedRover relief

A safe place for feline family members For Rose Brooks Center, a

But when shelter workers at

domestic violence shelter for

Rose Brooks Center noticed that the

families in Kansas City, Missouri,

cats were becoming stressed, they knew

escaping abuse means finding safety

it was time to make a change. The cats

for the whole family — including feline

were housed in the same building as

family members.

dogs, and the loud barking and proxim-

Rose Brooks Center currently provides an on-site housing structure called “Paws Place” for pets of domestic

ity to the dogs caused the cats anxiety. Rose Brooks Center applied for a RedRover Relief Safe Housing grant, which provides

She feared not for her own safety but for

funds to enable shelters to house

the safety of her loyal friend. Because of

domestic violence

Paws Place, she was able to get to safety

victims’ pets

at Rose Brooks Center and rebuild her life.

families. They

on-site with their wanted to build

In December 2013, RedRover granted $3,000 to Rose Brooks Center to support the construction of a new on-site housing facility for cats staying at the shelter. They hope to build individual cat condos and other amenities to keep the cats happy and healthy. “The RedRover Safe Housing grant will make a huge impact on the cats who come to Rose Brooks Center as survivors of domestic violence,” Kelsey said. “This grant will help us build a cat shelter that meets the needs of our feline residents and their families.”

violence victims staying at the shelter.

a special cat facility to make sure their

According to Tracy Kelso, Development

families’ feline companions stayed

to help families and pets safely

Director for Rose Brooks Center,

healthy, comfortable and stress-free

escape domestic violence together:

during their stay at Rose Brooks Center.

“Paws Place has been an invaluable safe haven for our residents’ pets. Many families have already reported that their emotional healing has improved because of their pet’s safety and presence at the shelter.” Kelsey Brennaman, domestic violence shelter advocate at Rose Brooks Center, knows how important it is to have an on-site shelter for pets. “One woman, after surviving a violent attack which landed her in the hospital with a broken spine among other injuries, refused to come to the shelter without her feline companion,” Kelsey told us. “She feared not for her own safety but for the safety of her loyal friend. Because of Paws Place, she was able to get to safety at Rose Brooks Center and rebuild her life.” 4

companion Winter 2014

Learn about RedRover’s resources

Lifesaving gift for Chocolate On a bright and sunny day

came out her neck

in West Palm Beach, Florida,

and ricocheted off the

Patrice Turnquist was taking Chocolate,

pavement and into her

her four-year-old Labrador-pitbull mix,

shoulder. Thankfully, none

for a walk with some of the children

of the children were injured.

from the youth group that she runs. Chocolate noticed a man who

Patrice rushed Chocolate to her veterinarian where she learned that

Today, Chocolate is recovering

had been watching the children from

immediate surgery was needed to save

well at home with Patrice. RedRover’s

across the street, and she began

her dog’s life. Chocolate needed two

On-Call Angels help us make a bigger

barking at him. Suddenly, without

surgeries: one to remove a bullet and

impact on the lives of animals by

warning or explanation, the man pulled

the second to repair a fractured bone.

allowing RedRover to give larger grants

out a gun and shot Chocolate in the

Patrice had recently lost her job and

when needed, and more grants to save

face at point-blank range. The bullet

was only working a few days a week.

the lives of animals who need urgent

went through her face, broke her jaw,

There was no way she would be able

veterinary care. Patrice told RedRover,

to pay for all of Chocolate’s care —

“I can’t thank you enough for saving

until she found RedRover and applied

Chocolate. She’s my baby and it means

for a RedRover Relief grant.

so much to me that you were willing

There was no way she would be able to pay for all of Chocolate’s care — until she found

A donation from Sondra, one of RedRover’s compassionate On-Call Angels, provided the grant to help get Chocolate the urgent care she

RedRover and applied for

needed. Chocolate spent several days

a RedRover Relief grant.

recuperating at a local animal services charity, where she is pictured here.

to help us.” You, too, can be an On-Call Angel and help a specific animal like Chocolate. To request more information about joining RedRover’s On-Call Angels, please visit

Winter 2014

companion 5

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Building empathy for animals “In my experience as a teacher,

RedRover agrees with you, Jennifer!

I have noticed that those children

In fact, when Leticia Gomez brought the

who learn kindness to animals early

RedRover Readers program to Texas students

in life tend to be more helpful and

this past November, she said, “After the

compassionate, and take initiative

reading, some students said they were no

to be helpful and productive

longer going to force their pets to play or

members of society.”

do something; they were going to care more

— Jennifer Guerrero, teacher who

about the privacy of their pets.”

recently attended the RedRover Readers online training

“Having the children engaged and hooked with the story was a wonderful experience,” Leticia added. After the reading, the students created a class book about pet care. You can find this activity and more at


Through stories and discussions, we help children Using specially selected, humane-themed children’s literature,

explore the bond between

educators who have been trained to implement the RedRover Readers

people and animals.

curriculum promote empathy and critical thinking in children and engage them in thoughtful discussions, giving children opportunities to decide for themselves their collective responsibilities toward animals.

RedRover Companion - 2014 Winter  
RedRover Companion - 2014 Winter