Red Paw Emergency Relief Team's services will continue in Philadelphia after all

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team's services will continue in Philadelphia, officials announced on Thursday -- the same day the organization was set to shut down.

Red Paw, a non-profit emergency response organization that serves more than 675,000 pet owners in the city, was on the brink of shutting down after a 9-year run. The organization's main goal is to save families' precious pets during critical times of an emergency.

The looming closure was due in part to funding and staffing - only trained firefighter can do the job.

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Philadelphia officials announced on October 1, 2020 that Red Paw's services will continue in the city.

On Thursday, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel announced that Red Paw's services would continue through the city's Community Action Team or CATs. The team cares for displaced residents, installs smoke alarms, and educates the community about fire safety.

READ MORE: Time is running out for Philadelphia's Red Paw Emergency Relief Team
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Red Paw has saved thousands of pets when flames consumed homes in Philadelphia. But now they need to be rescued.

"I am pleased that Red Paw will continue to be one of our critical partners in serving all of our residents, businesses and visitors 24/7, 365 (days a year)," said Thiel.

For Michelle Reed, who was the victim of a fire last month, Red Paw was invaluable when they sent someone in to look for her cat, Tas.

"That lady searched hard for my baby. The lady almost got hit by the ceiling in the kitchen looking for my cat-- my ceiling fell in," said Reed.

She says she doesn't know what she would have done without Red Paw.

For the next month, Red Paw will be training members of the CATs on best practices for dealing with families with pets to best assist city residents during a fire.

"The services that we provide are not going anywhere. There will be actually better services in the face of all these challenges. There will be more complete services. We will have a bigger team, a better team," said Lori Albright, Red Paw COO.

Since 2011, Red Paw has helped close to 10,000 families and rescued more than 8,000 pets.
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