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, RedRover.org.
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
RedRover.org info@ RedRover.org 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: RedRover.org/LuckyDogAmazon. companion
For a listing of RedRover’s board of directors and staff, visit: RedRover.org/people
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 positively.com. 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
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
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 RedRover.org/Companion.
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.
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
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
Paws Place, she was able to get to safety
at Rose Brooks Center and rebuild her life.
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 RedRover.org/On-Call-Angels.
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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.