Make no mistake, man-made disasters like puppy mills and hoarders are every bit as serious as hurricanes and wildfires – the only difference is they are man-made. And like natural disasters, they required a cadre of trained volunteers willing to put their lives on hold and help others when needed. So last month, when 300 pit bulls were seized from Spindeltop Refuge by HSUS and the Montgomery County sheriff, authorities knew they would need volunteers experienced in disaster response. Caring for that many dogs, many of who were starving and neglected, until they were reclaimed and/or rescued would take weeks, and would require people with experience caring for dogs. So they contacted Red Rover.
Red Rover Responders (formerly the Emergency Animal Rescue Service or EARS), shelter and care for animals displaced by disasters. Many of the Red Rover volunteers who traveled to Montgomery County in the weeks following the seizure live in the DFW area. They have been specially trained in sheltering animal victims of disasters, and as true heroes do, they quickly and quietly answered the call when it came, working long days to care for these deserving dogs.
Would you like to be a hero to dogs in need? Red Rover is looking for more volunteers in Texas. They are looking for volunteers from all walks of life and all levels of experience, from the casual pet-lover to the seasoned shelter worker. You just need a commitment to helping animals in need. According to one current Red Rover volunteer, even “Marshmallows/Animal Planet crybabies welcome – if I can ‘do it’ you can too!!”
Red Rover volunteers must complete a two-part volunteer training program, which includes a half-day workshop and a self-paced online training. The half-day volunteer training workshop will be presented this Saturday, August 11th from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is being hosted by McLennan County Animal Rescue Coalition at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum in Waco, and is one of only two training workshops scheduled in Texas this year (the other being in Edinburg, in the Rio Grande Valley, in late August). Registration is only $50 and includes the cost of both the required workshop and self-paced online training, as well as the volunteer handout and workshop materials. After completion of both the workshop and the Self-Paced Online Training, you receive a t-shirt to wear while volunteering, a photo ID badge and a certificate of completion. At that point, you will be added to the RedRover Responders volunteer roster, and contacted with requests to respond as needed.
You must pre-register for this weekend’s workshop at www.redrover.org. You can find out more about what Red Rover volunteers do, and the qualifications to be a volunteer at http://www.redrover.org/index.cfm?navid=34