Nicole Forsyth, president and CEO of RedRover

Nicole Forsyth—president and CEO of RedRover, a Sacramento-based national nonprofit devoted to rescuing and sheltering animals in crisis—addresses the situation by which there are pockets of people across the country that are as yet unfamiliar with the organization, founded in 1987 (though under a different name). Forsyth explains that the original name was United Animal Nations –and the outfit had a much broader portfolio, partly predicated —and suggests that one of her proudest accomplishments since being hired as president and CEO in 2006 was shepherding the organization to a name change in 2011, becoming RedRover. She describes how her educational and professional paths ultimately delivered her to the doorstep of what would become RedRover. Noting much of RedRover’s work involves stepping in when a major natural disaster—like a hurricane—hits an area and has major implications for animals, Forsyth outlines how the organization decides to deploy to the site of that disaster. She notes that this process typically involves waiting to see how a particular scenario plays out—and for a particular organization to ask for RedRover’s help, citing as an example when Hurricane Harvey hit, the Texas SPCA asked for their assistance. In these rescuing and sheltering efforts, RedRover can draw on some 4000 volunteers scattered across the U.S., some of whom are veterinarians. Later, Forsyth talks about the RedRover Readers education program, which helps children develop empathy for animals and generally, as well as develop critical thinking skills, adding that there’s no an app whereby kids can access part of the program, regardless of their location. (


ALSO: I spoke with Chris Rusnak, of Nature’s Classroom, an environmental education center, established in 1969, and these days chiefly caters to sixth graders in Hillsborough County. We discussed the then-forthcoming “Woods, Water and Wildlife” annual open house. (

COMEDY CORNER: Martha Kelly’s “Animal Road Trip” (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Genesis’ “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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