Red Paw An Emergency Relief Organization For Pets!

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping humans and rescue groups learn useful tricks and tips on how to take care of and rescue dogs. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. We are here for you. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, and or are featured here in the article. Use these links to find the product to purchase or to research.

Today’s session is about Red Paw, the emergency relief response organization for pets.

We have asked Jen to tell us a little about Red Paw, how she got started and some of the problems she must overcome on a daily basis. Here is Jen’s story.

Red Paw Fire Ground

Red Paw has been a work in progress for many years and a direct result my experiences on the fire ground. I was a Philadelphia Fire Fighter for seven years and an American Red Cross, Disaster Action Team responder for 8 years and the Philadelphia County Animal Response Team Coordinator for 6 years — time and time again, I’d go to a disaster scene and watch as pets were left with no organization to provide emergency assistance or care in the event of a fire, building collapse, gas leak, etc.

Red Paw on scene

Two specific incidents sparked Red Paw’s birth. A few years ago, a two alarm fire in Center City resulted in the death of two dogs and a cat because there was not a procedure in place to help them. I was responding with the Red Cross and saw the owners carrying the dogs in their arms screaming for help, but no one was there to help them. I used my personal vehicle to rush them to Penn Veterinary Hospital (while the owners were giving them oxygen with equipment borrowed from a medic unit) but they later died.

The second incident occurred in January 2011 at a three alarm fire at an apartment complex in West Philly. Cats were being taken out of the building in laundry baskets and rushed to the shelter without crates or emergency vet care. Dozens of cats were trapped in the building for weeks afterwards with no procedure in place to help them get out.

Red Paw crate

Shortly after that fire, I brought my proposal for Red Paw to the American Red Cross — to work in conjunction with their responders when there are pets on scene. Six months later Red Paw was born and clearly the need On July 25th 2011 at midnight we officially began! Since then we’ve been called to assist close to 600 times in Southeastern PA and helped nearly 1000 displaced pets (!

Red Paw’s first response was 5:30 in the morning, and we’d only been up and running for less than six hours when the phone rang. The American Red Cross was on the other line! The Bridge (their 24 hour emergency call center) staff person says, “Good morning Jen, we have a fire for you. Six Pit Bulls were displaced in North Philly. You can help right?” Now, I planned for six months before starting Red Paw, I talked to other orgs, rescues, animal businesses, vets and stakeholders. I thought I had all my bases covered, I had no idea!! 

Prior to Red Paw there was no organization doing this in Philly, or anywhere in the country! This brought about several challenges! Not only were we a brand new non-profit org but we were also an emergency response organization (that no one had ever heard of and were unclear about what we actually did) and an animal rescue (but not a shelter, which confuses people). All three of those separately have their own challenges, together it’s like a whole other animal:) 

Excited and slightly panicked about our first response ever, I said yes to the ARC dispatcher, jumped out of bed and ran to the computer. First things first. Put out a call through One Call Now (a tool used to send one message to multiple phones at the same time) to all of the rescues, facilities and volunteers who had agreed, during the planning process, to help us with emergency response when we started. Well, OCN was down, and I couldn’t get a call to go out! So it’s 5:30 in the morning, the Red Cross has just called to use our services for the first time, there are six displaced Pit Bulls, and I can’t get a message to my resources for help! Slight panic had turned into full blown panic!

Luckily, I had a few personal numbers in my phone of people who had said they were in from the beginning and wanted to help! So I started dialing. First up was Portia, from Central Bark Doggy Day Care, who immediately said, “Yes, we have room, bring them here.” Next up was a volunteer who I had worked with through Philly County Animal Response Team, and he was up and willing to meet me on scene.

As I rolled up to the fire dwelling the fire department vehicles were gone, and the first thing I saw was the Red Cross responder on-scene. This immediately made me feel better! I walked up to the owners and stated that I was from Red Paw and explained, “We are like the Red Cross for Animals, we are going to keep your dogs for you while you recover from the fire.” Next were some questions: “Are the dogs normally friendly with people? Are they friendly with other dogs? Are they spayed, neutered, and vaccinated?”

It turned out that two of the dogs had gotten into a fight during the fire due to fear and stress of what was happening and needed to be kept separate and probably needed some medical attention. None of them were s/n or vaccinated but they were normally friendly with people. Two of the dogs were just little puppies so that made things a bit easier, but the other four were big Pitties! One by one we got them situated in my car and the volunteer’s vehicle, and off to Central Bark we went.

Red Paw

This was one of those things I just did not consider in my planning phase of Red Paw! I did not consider the health and well begin of the pets we were brining in, outside of the health needs from the fire or disaster, of course. I guess I was a bit nieve, I just assumed people cared for their pets the way I care for mine! In fairness, I do not except others to sleep on the floor so as to not disturb their sleeping dogs who are covered in fleece blankets, snoring with their heads on pillows!:) But I did not plan for the amount of wellness exams and procedures the animals we assist need. So much so that we had to create a Wellness Coordinator position to handle them all! 

One of our goals now is to return the pets to their families in better condition than we got them in! They all get check ups by vets, they get s/n (as long as the owner agrees), they get vaccinated, dewormed, flea medicine, bathed, groomed, nails trimmed,etc, whatever the animal needs to be healthy and happy while in our care.

Now, the reason I asked the clients the question, “Are they normally friendly?”  was because, like people, pets all respond differently to stress. These guys spread the entire spectrum: the puppies, AJ and Taz, not phased at all; Phat Phat, the momma, was pretty good as well; Bishop, BoiBoi, and Kilo were very stressed out to the point that we almost couldn’t get them out of the vehicles and into their crates at CB! The thing about working with dogs, especially in stressful situations, is that you need to be patient, which is hard to do when it’s now 7:45 in the morning and you are about to be late for work! Luckily, the staff at CB was able to ease the stress and get everyone into their crates without issue. Once everyone was settled in, off to work I went.

Bishop, BoiBoi, Kilo, Phat Phat, AJ, and Taz spent the next four months at Central Bark, even though we say that we will only give clients 30-60 days of care for their animals. Our goal, however, is to reunite families, so we worked with them daily to keep them involved in their animals’ care and assist them in taking back their pets. They obviously loved these dogs but they were overwhelmed! Six Pit Bulls, six dogs of any breed, are a lot of work! We educated them on s/n and vaccinations, and we got all but Boi Boi spayed and neutered. We also worked with them on adopting out AJ and Taz, the puppies, and both went to amazingly loving homes. And most importantly, after many conversations with the family about surrendering vs keeping them, we were able to kept the other four together and reunited them with their family!

Red Paw

One of the biggest surprises for me personally and a challenge for the org is the “surrendered” animals we end up with. We do everything in our power to keep families together and reunite. We’ve had animals in our care for up to eight months! That is challenge number one because a lot of the time, especially for larger dogs surrendered to us or with us long term, we end up boarding them and have to pay for their long term housing, which can get very pricey! We adopt out all of our adoptables, ourselves, we do not bring them to shelters or give them to rescues. We do it all in house to take the burden off of the already burdened rescue groups and shelters.

When I started planning for Red Paw I did not take that aspect into consideration, I just never thought owners would not want their animals back, especially after everything we had gone through to keep them together! 

This first response for Red Paw was a snowball effect that has not stopped! I planned for months and months, used my emergency response experience, my animal response experience, and pulled from the knowledge of other rescues, animal handlers, emergency response organizations and vets to make sure I addressed all issues before we began. There isn’t a day that goes by, almost three years later, that something doesn’t come up that I never planned for!!

To say this has been a learning experience would be an understatement! I set out to start an emergency response organization for pets, and Red Paw is that, but we turned out to be an animal rescue, an animal welfare organization, an adoption center and a human service resource! This has been, by far, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I was a Philadelphia Fire Fighter for 7 years! But it’s also the most rewarding and exciting thing as well! Red Paw provides a much-needed resource in the community, proven by how busy we have been! Fires will never not happen and people will always have pets. The people have the Fire Department and the American Red Cross and now the pets have Red Paw!

Red Paw

Red Paw in an all volunteer organization. We provide our services FREE of charge to our clients solely through individual donations! To DONATE please go to
Red Paws, 1328 S 24th St, Philadelphia, PA 19146  (267) 289-2729
Red Paw Facebook page      Red Paw Email address
Thank you Jen. That is an amazing story and you are providing a much needed service and are doing an amazing job!

Thank you for joining us today at Daisy’s Rescue (, we hope that you enjoyed todays article and that you found it helpful. Please remember to visit and like our Face Book page at . You can email Daisy at .  You can download Daisy’s Rescue podcasts at or


2014 USDA Website Access.

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue. We are all about helping humans and rescue groups learn useful tricks and tips on how to take care of and rescue dogs. Please feel free to leave comments and questions you may have for us. We are here for you. For your convenience we have added links to the products that we like to use, and or are featured here in the article. Use these links to find the product to purchase or to research.

Today’s session is about how to access the new 2014 updated USDA APHIS website.

The USDA APHIS or the United States Department of Agriculture division of Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, is the federal governments department that is responsible for the safety of animals and the compliance of large scale commercial dog breeders or what we call Puppy Mills. The USDA redesigned their website for 2014. While the way you access it didn’t change, the look did, so here is a step by step tutorial on how to access the website. Remember, you can search all animal labs, circus’s, breeders and brokers.

2014 USDA Website Animal Welfare


This is the first page of the USDA APHIS Website Look to the left and see “Animal Welfare”, click on it.

2014 USDA APHIS Animal welfare page


On the left hand side is the “Animal Welfare Act” , click on that and you will go to the next page.

2014 USDA APHIS Animal Welfare page

Now, on the right hand side is the AWA Inspections, click on that link.

2014 USDA APHIS Inspection Link

In the middle of this page you will find a bold “Inspection“. Under this heading after a brief explanation of what the USDA is supposed to do, you will find “Search Active Licensees and Registered Facilities”. You want to click on this and it will take you to the “WARNING PAGE”. As best as I can figure, this page is meant to scare away anyone who is not serious about looking up inspection results. It basically says, that the government has the right to look at your computer while you are searching their inspection results, or that you can expect to have someone watch you as you search their site, you know the government, they are such voyeurs. Either way you have to say  “I Agree” or you can’t get in.

2014 USDA APHIS I Agree Page


So, you click I agree. and then you are taken to the basic search page. Oh, and just to make sure you really want to get in they may make you wait up to 90 seconds to load the page, so be patient.

2014 USDA APHIS Basic search License


We are now at the “Basic search license and registration page”. Look down to the second set of bold tabs in the middle os the page. Under “Results”, is the license and registration, click in the tab next to that, it will say “Inspection Information”. Click that. 2014 USDA Basic inspection page Inspect link

Ok now that the “inspection results” have been clicked. we are ready to search the inspection records. Be warned the web site is very slow. I think they do that on purpose so it is harder to access. I typed in PA to the search.

2014 USDA APHIS PA Search result


This is what the results are. I’m not sure what “C” means, maybe circus, “R” means research and “A” means breeder, “B” means broker. So lets see what our search came up with. Looks like 2 circus’s a breeder and 2 research labs. Lets look at the breeder first. On the far right of the page is a printer (you can click to print that result), then the “details” click that to expand the inspection results. Next is the customer number and type of license (A, B, C, R), the name of the organization or person, the date of inspection and then the results of the inspection. How many violations if any.  So let look at the breeder.

2014 USDA APHIS breeder number of dogs


She has no violations, but at the bottom of the page we can see how many dogs she has. She had 51 Dogs and 27 puppies at the time of the inspection. I can’t imagine all those dogs living inside the house as pets. Please play around with the web site. The more you use it the more you can get out of it. Look up Purina and see how many animals they have in their lab.

Here are some short cut links. To go to the USDA site . To go straight to the “Warning Page”


If you have any problems please email us. We will be happy to help you. If you like this post please let us know.  We love to hear from you.

Thank you for joining us today at Daisy’s Rescue (, we hope that you enjoyed todays article and that you found it helpful. Please remember to visit and like our Face Book page at . You can email Daisy at .  You can download Daisy’s Rescue podcasts at or



Bashful Needs Help.

Welcome to Daisy’s Rescue, this is a special post to help a sweet little puppy in need of some major medical attention. Meet Bashful,Bashful

Dopey, 1 of Jezzabelle puppies has just been diagnosed with HydroCephalus (fluid on the brain). Which is why he has the more dome shaped head and eyes that turn more outward. He shows no other symptoms at this time. Due to the discovery of Dopey condition we opted to change his name to Bashful, and the puppy Bashful that passed to Dopey. We had just named the puppies after the 7 dwarfs. We just felt terrible calling him Dopey with him having a medical condition. NCSU (North Carolina State Univeristy) has been called and after discussion with our vet it has been decided he will go see Neuro Surgeon when he is 8 weeks old. The Neurologist local can’t handle his condition we have been told. Bashful is doing really good at this time, trying to eat from Jezzabelle food dish, plays some etc. But he is a little more lethargic than other 3. This condition causes severe pain, seizures etc if not treated. We know the surgery and treatment he needs is very very expensive but want to give him a chance at a comftorable life. The amount we have listed as goal is just a start. He needs MRI and testing. Don’t know cost of surgery and treatment yet. Please help us help him. Jezzabelle still needs her HW treatment when babies are weaned as well.


Contact Info



We are a 501c3 non profit no kill rescue working with the community to help the unwanted/homelss animals in need.

To help with the over population of animals by spaying/neutering unaltered animals
Save the many abused, abandoned, neglected, unwanted animals

Company Overview

We are a rescue group located on the Peninsula to help save the many unwanted, abused, and neglected animals killed each year.


Critters 4 U Rescue is working with the community to save and help the unwanted/homeless animals have a second chance in life. Many of these animals have had a rough start in life and just need a second chance to have a happy healthy life.

General Information

we take in homeless, unwanted, abused, and neglected animals, have them vetted, and give them a safe place to live until a permanent home can be found for them. We are a non kill rescue.