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For Families Made Homeless By Fire, Non-Profit Cares For Pets

Red Paw founder Jennifer Leary with her rescue dog. (Credit: Jennifer Leary)

Red Paw founder Jennifer Leary with her rescue dog. (Credit: Jennifer Leary)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
She's reported from inside a burning building, from the flight deck of...
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia firefighter sympathetic to the plight of animal owners standing in the street, clutching their beloved pets as they watch their home burn, is doing all she can to find temporary shelter for these creatures.

In her five years with the Philadelphia Fire Department, Jennifer Leary has lost count of the times she rolled up to find this heartbreaking situation: “People are holding their cats in laundry baskets or their dogs in cars I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the scene and people have had to leave their dog inside their burned out house,” with no organized resources to help these animals.

So Leary started Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, providing emergency transport, shelter and vet care.

“If there’s a fire or any type of incident in Philadelphia or anywhere in the five county area where an animal is involved, the Red Cross or individual clients can call us and say, ‘can you help us?’”

But now Leary needs help, because she’s getting calls from New Jersey officials too. She’s looking for volunteers and donations to help as many animals as she can.