Red Cross begins new service to offer support for pet loss and bereavement following disaster

HARRISBURG – The American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania has announced a new service to support those who lose a pet during a disaster, according to an announcement by Ellen Kyzer, regional CEO of the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania.

“Ruth Rudderow, a Red Cross volunteer, is a certified pet loss bereavement counselor through the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement. Through her volunteer leadership, Ruth will support families impacted by the loss of a pet during a home fire, flood or disaster. We are grateful to have Ruth’s expertise in this area, as so very many of clients have experienced the loss of a beloved pet during a disaster,” said Kyzer

Rudderow is one of the few pet loss bereavement counselors in Pennsylvania. In addition to the American Red Cross, she is a volunteer with the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area, where she holds a monthly pet bereavement support group and offers one-on-one counseling for those who have lost a pet.

“The ‘Pet Loss and Bereavement Following Disaster’ program Ruth is bringing to the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania is unique among Red Cross Regions nationwide. It will allow us to target one area of common heartache among those who face disaster,” said Kyzer.

This service will be available in any of the counties covered by the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania: Adams, Bedford, Blair, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Northumberland, Perry, Snyder, Tioga, Union and York counties.

The American Red Cross also offers disaster mental health services through licensed mental health professionals who are volunteers for the organization. This and all American Red Cross disaster assistance services, such as safe shelter, food, clothing, essential relief supplies, emotional support and health services like first aid and replacing lost medications are free. The American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania responded to 527 local disasters last fiscal year, caring for 791 families.

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers that provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from caring individuals and, in part, by contributions given through the United Way.

A financial gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in the community, across the country and around the world.

Call 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or 800-257-7575 (Spanish).

Contributions may be sent to the American Red Cross, 430 W. Orange Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 or any one of the local Red Cross offices.

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