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December 19, 2012
Classroom drills to animal shelter skills

Nearly two months after Superstorm Sandy devastated areas of New York, New Jersey and beyond, RedRover Responders volunteers are at it again to help animals in need. This week, 13 RedRover Responders volunteers will travel to care for displaced animals at a temporary Brooklyn, New York, shelter operated by the ASPCA. 

The team arrived on scene, received their assignments and began caring for nearly 200 cats and dogs alongside volunteers and staff from other assisting organizations. The RedRover team, led by veteran responder and volunteer Donna Lagomarsino, quickly developed strong camaraderie. Many volunteers tell RedRover that meeting other like-minded people is one of their favorite parts of deploying, but this team has some especially unique characteristics that helped them grow close quickly. 

As a primarily volunteer-based organization, RedRover relies on volunteers to fill many essential roles. RedRover Responders volunteers take photos and video, lead deployments, and also train other volunteers at our Volunteer Training Workshops. Donna has received training as both a Team Leader and a Workshop Facilitator. In 2012, she facilitated three workshops in New York and Pennsylvania, training dozens of new volunteers. As she greeted the volunteers deploying to this sheltering operation, she recognized many faces. Most of the volunteers deploying to this shelter had attended one of Donna's recent workshops!

"There was already a lot of camaraderie at the shelter today because so many volunteers had already met at their training workshop," said Donna. "It's neat to have the opportunity to see directly how the classroom training translates to real field work."

After completing daily care tasks, volunteers spent some time creating enrichment for the cats. They hung plastic balls with bells inside for the cats to swat at, which many of the cats immediately enjoyed. 

The team will continue to provide sheltering care through Sunday.


View video from RedRover's first deployments to assist pets displaced by Superstorm Sandy: