Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is ending its operations

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  A Philadelphia group that rescues pets during emergencies has decided to end its service. 

It's not about money, according to Lori Albright, chief operations officer of The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team in Philadelphia. She said it's more that the business model that's been in use for nine years isn't working anymore. 

She said currently, several firefighters give their time rescuing pets from fires and floods all over the city, and there are too many disasters and too many animals.

"We believe that a successful model would be that our services would be integrated into the fire department. So firefighters are trained to do what we do, rather than us being a stand alone model as a nonprofit organization,” she explained. 

The last day of operations will be Oct. 1, and until then, the team will be there for the animals.

"When a family has a fire, for example, our responders are firefighters, and they respond to the scene. They're dispatched and do search and rescue for pets that are missing in homes. We support the family, we help get the pets out and provide supplies and basically advocate for the pet owners,” she explained. 

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said the organization has been a “great partner,” and they’re “sorry to see this development.”