Help is out there for struggling pet owners

(BPT) - In uncertain times, there is one source of comfort we can all agree upon, and it is the unconditional love provided by our beloved four-legged friends. Pets are family and are there for us when we need it most. And when tragedy strikes a family member, whether through a natural disaster, domestic abuse, a health problem or job loss, we do everything we can to help.

Bringing animals out of crisis and into care and strengthening the bond between humans and animals is at the heart of everything RedRover does. Through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and humane education programs, we are able to unite our community of pet lovers to help make the world a better and safer place for pets and their people. No matter the crisis, people and their pets can stay together whenever possible, or be reunited when separation is unavoidable.

In the current time of economic and social uncertainty, there are a variety of programs that can help people and pets who are struggling, including:

Urgent veterinary care grants

The RedRover Relief program offers financial assistance and resources to pet owners struggling with economic hardship when pets are facing life-threatening emergencies. These grants are intended to fill a small gap in funding that is keeping an animal from receiving urgent veterinary care. In addition to financial support, case managers are there to provide emotional support and guidance throughout the application process.

Domestic violence assistance program

As few as 10% of domestic violence shelters in the U.S. allow pets onsite. And reports show that nearly half of domestic violence victims won’t leave their abusers if they can’t bring their pet with them. RedRover and Purina have partnered to create the Purple Leash Project to help expand pet-friendly domestic violence shelters across the United States. Purple Leash Project grants, an extension of RedRover’s Safe Housing program, enable shelters to build on-site housing for pets. Adding pet-friendly spaces to domestic violence shelters can save the lives of people and their pets — and allow them to begin their healing process together.

Recognizing there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help domestic violence survivors and their pets, there are additional types of grants for shelters to house pets offsite or partner with organizations like pet shelters to care for pets while a domestic violence survivor is in shelter. Survivors can apply for direct support through the Safe Escape program, which provides up to 90 days of pet boarding to individuals leaving abuse.

COVID boarding grants

The new “Emergency Boarding” grant program helps animals who need temporary boarding while their owners are ill due to the COVID-19 virus. This grant will cover the cost of up to two (2) weeks of boarding while a pet owner is hospitalized, or if the pet owner is recovering at home and unable to care for their pet or place him or her with a friend or neighbor.

Resources

Beyond providing grants and support, RedRover has also assembled a list of COVID-19 emergency resources for pets and people with links to:

  1. Pet food and equine resources to connect pet owners to pet food pantries and hay donations;
  2. Other financial assistance programs such as low- and no-cost spay and neuter, as well as transportation services and foster resources;
  3. Resources for parents looking for engaging, at-home activities to do with their children, as well as educators who are looking for resources to use with their remote students;
  4. Emergency planning for pets including the COVID-19 Preparedness for Pets PDF, RedRover Pet Disaster Preparedness tips and an Emergency Pet Caregiving Agreement.

With so many struggling right now, these resources will help keep your family safe during the pandemic, and beyond.

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