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Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

Rating: 4.84 stars   102 reviews 6,413

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

Rating: 5 stars  

Lucky Dog rescues 1000+ dogs per year from near certain death by harnessing the power of an ARMY of dedicated and passionate volunteers. That's their special sauce: giving people like me and hundreds of others a platform where we can roll up our sleeves and save pets. It can't be easy coordinating everything from transporting dogs from high kill shelters, arranging fosters and boarding, and then hosting adoptions events (every weekend!), but they do it with military precision and, truly, at the lowest cost possible, meaning every dime contributed produces real results. Having spent a lot of time of non-profits, I can say that Lucky Dog is making a real difference - the large and growing number of pups they save speak for itself. I feel proud to be associated with the group as a volunteer.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I started out as a dog handler and was so impressed with the passion and organization of Lucky Dog that I decided to expand my role to being an adoption coordinator. Lucky Dog appreciates its volunteers and has very strong organization that supports every step of the adoption process from rescuing dogs from shelters to providing guidance to adopters. Great place to volunteer because there are lots of options to participate, depending on your available time and interest.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've volunteered with Lucky Dog and even adopted our dog from Lucky Dog. They are a dedicated organization that works to find forever homes and rescue as many dogs and cats even, as possible. And they do this all by working with a network of volunteers dedicating their time. Everyone at Lucky Dog truly cares about this mission and they do wonderful heartfelt work.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue since 2011 when I adopted my dog. After my great experience adopting, I knew I wanted to stay involved with such a wonderful organization. I became a handler for dogs at the events and then later a foster. Lucky Dog has always been great at preparing you for your role whether it be as an adopter or volunteer. They want the best for their dogs and want to make sure that the dog will be a good fit for the family. Lucky Dog is excellent at communicating and I know that I can contact them with any question. The people involved with Lucky Dog are some of the hardest working, passionate individuals I have ever met. I am proud to be part of this organization.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I adopted my dog from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue 4 years ago. After going through the adoption process, I realized what a wonderful, caring organization Lucky Dog was and knew I wanted to get involved as a volunteer. At first I volunteered as a handler at the adoption events and walked and played with the dogs while they met potential adopters. Not a bad way to volunteer! Later I moved into the foster role. Lucky Dog is excellent at communicating and always expresses their appreciation of their volunteers. I have never felt pressured to participate in any event, but their passion for helping dogs (and sometimes cats!) makes it hard to not want to volunteer! Lucky Dog goes to great lengths to help pups in need. Volunteers will go as far as Puerto Rico to bring dogs safely to DC. Adoption Coordinators will meet potential adopters at all hours to do home visits and complete final paperwork. They are always looking for new ways to best help their dogs. I cannot thank Lucky Dog enough for bringing my pup and me together and for helping me to open my home to so many amazing foster dogs. Lucky Dog has become an important part of my life and I love seeing them grow and succeed, because in the long run that means even more lives are being saved.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I adopted my dog from Lucky Dog and immediately fell in love with the organization! They were so thorough with the adoption process and really wanted to make sure that the dog I wanted was a good fit for my home. They were very prompt with the home visit, helped me find the supplies I needed for my dog before I even left the event at Petsmart, and were willing to answer all of my questions even after the adoption was official. After my positive experience adopting, I have volunteered as a handler at adoption events and as a foster. I have come to know the love and dedication the leaders of Lucky Dog have for each and every dog they are rescuing. They work unbelievably hard (and unbelievably long hours!) to make sure each dog is able to have a chance at a better life. They never fail to recognize the team of people who help find their pups homes. I am so grateful to Lucky Dog for bringing my dog and me together and for all they do to complete families.

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?

Life-changing

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?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I adopted my (amazing!!!) dog through Lucky Dog and had a great experience. His foster mom responded to my interest email very quickly and answered all the questions I had. When I got to the adoption event they allowed me plenty of time to get to know my dog and I never felt rushed or pressured into adopting. They asked me questions to make sure we were a good fit for each other and did a home visit that afternoon. They even helped me shop for him by providing me a detailed list of things I would need and advice. Everyone working the event got so excited when they saw he was going home. A few weeks after I adopted him, I emailed the organization to ask a question and they answered it right away. Now I volunteer with the organization to help other pups find their forever homes. They have amazing dogs and a fabulous caring staff. I have had a very positive experience with Lucky Dog and would definitely consider adopting another dog from them in the future.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen how much the staff cares about every dog in their care. They make sure the dogs are going to be a good fit with an adopter before they send them home. Now that I'm volunteering I have seen many dogs meet their potential adopters and it has been a great experience. They also do a great job sending volunteer email updates and utilize their social networking sites well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is still a young organization, but they are doing a great job. I would say keep on keepin' on and continue to get their name out there. From the results at adoption events and the number of fans they have on their facebook page I think they are doing a wonderful job for a brand new organization, especially when they are competing with so many other animal rescues.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This is my favorite organization to volunteer with because you get to immediately interact with animals and make a difference in saving their lives. You can basically just show up to help handle dogs at an adoption event and get to be their advocate for a few hours to find them a forever home. The organization also does a great job vetting applicants and I have done a number of home visits of potential adopters to ensure that it will be a safe environment and good match. My absolute favorite thing to do is foster, and once you are approved with Lucky dog as a foster you get to choose which dogs you are interested in taking home each week (you send a few choices and are then assigned). All the dogs I have fostered so far are absolute sweeties and cuddle bugs. I am very impressed by the dedication of the few staff members at Lucky Dog and the amazing commitment of the volunteer leadership. I feel the passion of the volunteers and it is very inspiring.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Really great organization with amazing underlying philosophy. Run by dedicated volunteers who a passionate and committed to what they do which is helping dogs and cats.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

LDAR is truly a well run organization that revolves around the well being of the dogs and cats they rescue. The organization has a large base of volunteers that are there because they truly care and have a love for animals. The majority of their rescues live with fosters until they are adopted which helps in socializing them. Shelters can be very scary!
I became a volunteer after my daughter rescued one of their wonderful dogs. At the event where we found our rescue we were able to witness the efficiency of the organization. We got to see first hand how much effort they put in to assure their dogs are placed in good homes where they will be well cared for.

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?

2016

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering with Lucky Dog for almost two and a half years and continue to be blown away by the organized and professional processes and procedures designed to provide continuous support and education to volunteers and adopters. With an emphasis on continuous improvement, leadership is constantly working to refine and better our systems to create the best opportunities to place dogs and cats in loving forever homes where they can succeed. Lucky Dog is an organization that I am extremely proud to be a part of and encourage anyone looking for hands-on volunteering opportunities to reach out to.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

after approaching a number of rescues and never hearing back, I sent an application into Lucky Dog and was quickly responded to by an adoption coordinator,. she not only screened me and arranged for a home visit and then a hold for the dog I wanted at the next day's event, but she arranged it all while away on a trip! via long distance! My little dog, Maddie, is wonderful and the whole experience was painless and terrific!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I continue to foster and work with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue because it is so well organized and because I am able to feel that I am truly making a difference in so many dogs lives every day. It's a very good feeling!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This is a very well run organization. The protocol is strict but much needed to make it all work as efficiently as it does. I started out an adopter then became a foster because I wanted to help save more lives and now I have been an adoption coordinator for several years. I have saved 3 dogs by adopting and 150+ by fostering and even more by coordinating. It really feels good to know you made such a difference to those little dogs. You can help out as much or as little as you have time for.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We adopted a little dog from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue a few years ago. I was so impressed with Lucky Dog and my wonderful coordinator, Suzie, that I began to volunteer with them. I love the way you can do as much or as little as you like and still be making a difference in the lives of these sweet dogs. (who in most cases, would otherwise have been killed.) It is extremely gratifying (and fun) to volunteer for this Rescue!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

perhaps add silly awards and acknowledgments for the volunteers to make it like a game when they do particularly outstanding job etc.

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?

Life-changing

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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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The fair treatment of animals has always been a cause close to my heart. Recently I decided to volunteer with the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in DC and I have been truly impressed with their organization and amazing teamwork! This dedicated group of people go above and beyond 7 days a week in order to save as many dogs lives as possible. The fact that they have saved over 3,000 dogs in only 2 years proves my point alone! But the love and care and "leave no dog behind" attitude is an additional bonus and heartwarming to witness. I am enjoying fostering my oh so Luck dog and looking forward to helping save many more sweet little lives. I picked the perfect team to join with Lucky dog.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

yes by finding a wonderful new homer for my foster dog

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none so far

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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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(Nonprofit Staff) wrote:

This is a terribly sad situation, and we feel we must correct serious misstatements in the report above. First, we have offered both verbally and in writing to have the adopter bring the puppy back to us. Any statement to the contrary is false. In addition, the puppy was neutered while at the shelter, and was in boarding for less than a week. Second, Dr. Kathryn Meyer, a reputable behaviorist that the adopter hired, stated it is "not clear" whether "Ollie possesses a stable enough temperament to be a safe pet in any household." In other words, he cannot safely be placed in a home of any kind. This is due to the fact that “the attacks [on the adopter] are unpredictable and there is never any warning communication, such as a growl or snap." Dr. Meyer states that The adopter, has "been seriously attacked," describing one incident where a "sustained, disinhibited attack" occurred and "even with the adopter's best efforts, Ollie bit The adopter repeatedly on her arm, causing punctures through two thick layers of winter clothing." Dr. Meyer goes onto explain that "because he is so easily triggered into disinhibited attacks on The adopter, there is a significant concern that he will redirect his aggression toward people, if sufficiently aroused by environmental triggers." She also states that "if his triggers expand to include other situations, it could put future owners at risk." Given this assessment from a behavioral professional, chosen by the adopter to evaluate Ollie's safety, Lucky Dog cannot responsibly rehome him. We cannot guarantee to either our fosters or our adopters that he would be safe in their home. We are very sad that in the months since his adoption, Ollie has become so aggressive and dangerous, but the safety of the people we work with is of the utmost importance. We are happy to share the behavioral evaluation with any interested parties in the interest of full and complete disclosure. In conclusion, we stand by our 100 percent placement success rate for all dogs that are deemed adoptable by veterinary professionals - including veterinary behaviorists like Dr. Meyers.