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Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

Rating: 4.83 stars   93 reviews 5,841

Nonprofit Issues:

Address:

Washington DC 20007 USA

Mission:

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals, primarily dogs from high-kill shelters and owners who can no longer care for them. By working with committed volunteers, foster homes, local veterinarians, trainers, and boarding facilities, we are able to rescue hundreds of animals every year, provide them with loving temporary care, and find them well-matched, carefully screened forever homes. We also serve as a resource to our community and all pet owners by providing education and information on responsible pet ownership, including the importance of spay/neuter, positive behavior training, and good nutrition.

Results:

From our founding in May, 2009 through August, 2011, we have rescued 3,100 dogs!

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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www.luckydoganimalrescue.org

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Reviews for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

Since the events I will outline below occurred, I have since discovered that I am by no means the only individual who has been victimized by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (LDAR) in the exact same manner – and several of the cases are publicly available through online complaint services.

In September, I adopted a 5 month old puppy from LDAR (this was the second LDAR adoption I had made). The puppy was brought from South Carolina by LDAR with full knowledge that the organization did not have adequate staff available to care for him upon arrival. Therefore, when the puppy arrived, it was immediately placed in a boarding kennel for at least a month (likely longer) – a highly suspect and detrimental action, as, according to an examining vet, LDAR’s decision likely contributed to the puppy’s future behaviors. He was neutered while in the kennel (at an exceedingly young age) and then went to a foster for about a day. While at the foster, the puppy showed food aggression toward the foster’s dogs, but LDAR provided no behavioral or other assessment of the dog’s temperament. Fairly soon after adoption, however, the puppy showed food aggression toward my other two dogs.

In late November, I unfortunately had to put one of the dogs down (the previous LDAR adoptee). Shortly thereafter, the puppy began to show increased resource guarding behavior – all directed toward the remaining dog. In December, there were four incidents – each related to resource guarding and involving an intended attack on the other dog in the house. None of the incidents, however, resulted in any injuries whatsoever to either dog. In three of the incidents, when I prevented the puppy from attacking the other dog, the puppy re-directed his attack on me, which I have since found out from multiple trainers and veterinarians was a normal behavior for a dog in the midst of a fight. Each time, the aggression was entirely directed toward the other dog in the house and the puppy's behavior toward other dogs (including at a dog park on multiple occasions) and adults and children alike was entirely appropriate.

From the beginning, I kept LDAR apprised of the issues, emailing the adoption coordinator. After the last incident, I notified LDAR that the puppy would have to be re-homed, and that he needed a foster without dogs or children, so that LDAR could effectively evaluate him and determine whether he could be suitable in a single dog home. LDAR indicated that they would not help until I took him to a behaviorist (at my cost of $500) so that an appropriate foster could be identified and that in all likelihood, since all fosters had dogs of their own, a foster would not be available (so, in reality, they were unwilling to help regardless). With all of this in mind, I brought in a one-on-one trainer and scheduled a behavioral vet appointment (at a total cost of $1,000). After going to the vet, and being told that the puppy should be removed – and placed in a suitable foster, I immediately emailed LDAR. The response I received came from another LDAR staff member, who in no uncertain terms indicated that LDAR was “releasing me from my contractual obligations,” to return the puppy to them, that “there were no suitable fosters without dogs available,” and that I should do whatever I believed was best. What I believed was best (and what the behaviorist believed was best) was for the puppy to be given a chance in a foster home – but when I asked the staff member whether she understood that if I took him to a shelter he would likely be euthanized, or whether she understood that she was asking me to euthanize a 9 MONTH old puppy without providing him an opportunity to prove himself, her only response was “this happens more often than we would like.” Following this conversation, I was contacted by the Executive Director of LDAR. She informed me that because the vet could not guarantee that the puppy would not have incidents in the future (which, as an attorney, I understand ANY vet would say in this situation), the organization’s liability insurance would not cover them taking the puppy back. When I told her that they had set me and the puppy up for failure by not helping sooner and by requiring a behavioral assessment (which was intentionally designed to elicit a negative response), her response was “that’s our protocol.”

Online, LDAR claims that “Lucky Dogs are lucky for life! So, if for any reason, you cannot keep your Lucky Dog, let us know as soon as possible. We will begin the process of taking them back. But, remember, we are here for you before that decision is made.” https://luckydoganimalrescue.org/resources/faq#t74n1974. On their form 990 (for every year I have found), the organization claims that it “has a 100% success rate, meaning that ever dog rescued was successfully adopted or placed in a long-term foster situation.” https://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/sites/default/files/library/documents/lucky-dog-990-2013.pdf. This statement is an intentional misrepresentation, as indicated by a thorough review of other complaints against LDAR and, indeed, statements made by LDAR staff directly to me, when noting that abandoning an adopter and possibly forcing the adopter to euthanize a healthy puppy “happens more often than we would like.” Since making this situation public, I have been told by multiple rescue volunteers, shelter employees, and veterinarians that LDAR is only concerned with initially placing dogs, allowing them to claim high placement numbers, and does not care at all after the initial placement.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with LDAR since 2010. I first signed up to volunteer because my apartment didn't allow dogs and I wanted a chance to be around them, help them find homes, and meet new people. I volunteer as a handler and used to drive dogs to adoption events from their boarding facilities in DC and I have never had a bad experience. I was finally able to move and adopt a Lucky Dog of my own, whom I adopted sight unseen off a transport. The process was so smooth and all of my communication with LDAR as an adopter was exactly as it was as a volunteer-caring, supportive, genuine, and kind. I have enjoyed spending time with both the pups and volunteers and cannot think of a better way to donate my time. Thank you Lucky Dog!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with Lucky Dog for about a year and it has been one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable experiences. The staff is organized, upbeat, and have hearts of gold. They communicate well and do everything in their power to find forever homes for their dogs. The resources they provide for training and educating new owners is a plus.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have never adopted a dog from anyone the dog usually adopted me. I adopted my dog Theo who I changed his name to Hachi from a movie I had saw. He is an American Bulldog mix and he is very smart and loving. Lucky Dog Rescue had me jumping through hoops to make sure I was a good fit for him after having to put my other dog down. The hoops were easy to go through and understand they only want what is best for these precious babies that have been abandoned or mistreated. Hachi is a big part of my life. I wouldn't want a more loving animal. He is going through training and is learning very quickly. I send updates frequently and pictures on how he is doing. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is a great place to get a forever furbaby if you want give them a forever home.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I've wanted a dog since I was 5yrs old and haven't been in a position to have one until recently. I've read Where the Red Fern Grows over 500 times. I went through an exceptionally difficult 2014 and was looking for a change in my life. I found it in Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

I volunteer because I enjoy giving back to communities and helping others. There is no replacement for the unconditional love dogs give their owners and everyone around them. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you look over at the dog being adopted and can see they know they found their furever home. Its impossible to miss.

I started volunteering with LDAR in January 2015. First as a handler (my first dog was Ramona, who was adopted that Sunday), then as a driver. Next I did some home visits. In April became an Adoption Coordinator. I finished my official training mid-June, but I still have a lot to learn. The mentorship program here is top notch!

I met Loka a 2.5yr old lab mix in early February. It was love at first sight. She was super stressed out and lease reactive from being returned. She did noticeably better when I handled her (about 4 weeks in a row). On March 15, I adopted her and now she's my super-lucky-perfect dog. I'm fortunate enough that I can bring her to work with me, so we are rarely ever not together.

The questions you need to ask are why are you not volunteering and why are you not adopting from them!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I could not be happier with my volunteer experience with Lucky Dog. They have so many opportunities to make a difference no matter how much time you can commit, and they welcome all levels of volunteers with open arms. I started just helping out here and there and now I have a much larger role but throughout the whole process I have felt appreciated. The people are kind and genuinely invested in the mission. The training process is extensive which leads to a high level of knowledge and decision making ability from all volunteers. Lucky Dog is there for adopters whenever they may need them, even if it is months or years after an adoption. The thing I respect most about Lucky Dog is that they work tirelessly to get dogs not just into any home, but into the best home for the needs of that animal. I'd recommend to anyone looking to adopt, volunteer, donate, etc. - Lucky Dog is top tier.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I adopted my first dog in 2010 from Lucky Dog - it was such a great experience that I started to volunteer as a handler and driver for events. I adopted my second dog in 2013 and have since become an adoption and event coordinator and have loved my time with this organization. The people and the pups make spending my time here worth it! I would definitely recommend adopting from Lucky Dog... and, if you want a great place to volunteer - do! It's a great community of dog advocates!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I adopted a dog from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in January of 2014 and could not have gotten a better new, family member! He was so well cared for before coming to live with me and I really appreciated the effort of Lucky Dog's extensive network of dedicated volunteers. So much so, that I decided to join them!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I adopted my dog last weekend and it was such a great experience. The process was very organized, and all of the volunteers were very friendly and kind to us and helped us a lot in order to take home the right dog for us. #luckydog

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Three people from my family, including myself, have adopted dogs from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. The support and help we received throughout the entire process was great. The volunteers that work with Lucky Dog are exceptionally passionate and readily available to make all efforts to help adoptions work out.

As a Lucky Dog volunteer, the experience of working with other like minded individuals who are passionate about rescuing animals is wonderful. I have been volunteering here since I moved to Washington, DC and plan to support and volunteer with Lucky Dog for as long as I am around!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Lucky Dog has given me quite the opportunity in the DC area to make an impact on animals' lives. The organization of the rescue has allowed me to learn first hand what it takes to have a truly successful nonprofit.
I am also very grateful to Lucky Dog because it brought me my 65lb baby pit mix, Ziggy.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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