National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc.

Rating: 4.98 stars   66 reviews

Issues:

Location: 501 E Ojai Ave. Ojai CA 93023 USA

Mission: Our mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by producing highly skilled Canine-Firefighter Disaster Search Teams to search for victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. We are the only organization in the U.S. that recruits rescued dogs, gives them ongoing professional training, and partners them with firefighters and other first responders at no cost to their departments.
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EIN 77-0412509
888-459-4376
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

It's hard to think of a more dire situation than being trapped in a collapsed structure as a result of a man made or natural disaster. I can only begin to imagine the despair such an experience would entail for the victim and their loved ones. I think it's likely in such a horrible situation that one's life might come down to the skill and training of a search dog and it's handler. While none of us expect to find ourselves needing such assistance, we obviously live in an unpredictable world. My wife and I are reminded of this when we think back to a visit to the World Trade Center only two days before it was destroyed.

I have been volunteering with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for approximately six months. I feel as if every few hours I can spare their expert trainers from other tasks affords them more quality training time with their canine partners. The chance that my minor efforts might someday contribute in some small way to a successful rescue is a rewarding feeling I receive no matter how seemingly insignificant the task I am assigned to complete. Having worked with canines in the military over forty years ago, it is also inspiring to be reminded of the incredible abilities of a highly trained canine.

During my time volunteering, I have been amazed at the dedication and sense of purpose exhibited by every staff person at the NDSDF. From the office staff to the expert trainers, there is a pervasive sense of dedication to making a positive contribution to the overall mission. It has truly been a rewarding privilege to volunteer with such an outstanding organization comprised of such dedicated individuals.

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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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

This is a amazing organization that helps when unexpected disaster strikes and the need is the greatest. Very few entities (including Search Dog Foundation) can legitimitely claim that they have resources that are ready to deploy and make an immediate positive impact. This organization is part of the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) that allows US federal government employees to donate to their choice of charity. I would strongly urge federal government to contribute to this organization to help achieve its mission objectives as the work they do makes this world a better place.

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?

Some

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer with the National Search Dog Foundation on and off for nearly 15 years. The Founder, Wilma Melville is truly an amazing person to have put together this incredibly worthy organization. The staff is small but are truly dedicated and give 110% willingly. For the funds to have been raised to make their ultimate goal of a national training center to come about is almost unbelievable. To be able to create a facility that will provide training for both the handlers (who are mostly firefighters) and the dogs at the same facility is absolutely ideal. I look forward to volunteering at the new training center and continuing to be a part of this amazing organization.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I am so excited about the NTC coming to life. Being a handler in Ventura California and California in general is an exciting time because of what the NTC is going to offer us as handlers. Knowing that my canine partner Ben will be given an opportunity to train in the most state of the art complex and ensuring he has the best ability to locate someone that is missing in a disaster not only brings excitement but also a somber effect with the realization that the search dog foundation is trying to emulate the real thing. Nowhere else can we get this and this will allow Ben to find the people if they are there.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I primarily volunteer as a photographer for SDF. I have worked with them for more than five years. When I first started, they and their mission were still relatively unknown. It has been my privelege to see them grow to national attention when Search Dogs they have rescued and trained, with their handlers, have shown their true worth when deployed to local as well as international disasters, such as the Haiti earthquake and Japan quake and tsunami. I know many of the dogs and handlers personally, and most of the staff as well, having worked with them at many of the events. I have never know such a dedicated, hardworking group of individuals. It is so gratifying to see them get the recognition they have earned. This organization deserves everyone's thanks and gratitude. You or I could be the next one they save.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I have admired the work the NDSDF does since I first heard of them after 9/11. I wanted to be involved with this organization, so gave them my resume in the hopes of joining the team. I am a volunteer right now, and have come to appreciate the fact that the BIG THINGS that they do, are as a result of remaining small, stable and strong. They stay connected not only to the dogs, the handlers, trainers and the life time care animals, but also to the donors. They are totally appreciative of all donations, no matter the size and really show it. This is a hardworking, dedicated team who all have the same goal. Recruiting dogs from shelters and giving them jobs saving human life is an amazing undertaking, and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is doing it.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for several years. I do my volunteering over the internet (proofreading & editing), so I don't get to see the other volunteers or the staff or the Search Dog-Handler Teams very often. But when I do see them in action -- whether in-person or on the news -- I am glad they are there to rescue people when disaster strikes. When I read of their hard work -- in an email alert from a deployment or on the Search Dog Foundation's Facebook page -- I am glad to be part of such an amazing group and I am glad to help them as they work so hard to help us all.

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?

Some

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I've volunteered for the SDF for 6 years, writing articles and photographing events and dog trainings. It has been my overall experience that every staff person, handler and dog has shown a high level of commitment and compassion. I love these folks! I will continue to support their efforts in whatever way needed for a very long time. They show integrity and inspiration all the way!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the honor of being a volunteer with the Search Dog Foundation since 2001. Like everyone else on September 11th, I was glued to the TV as the events unfolded. And again like so many others, I was deeply touched by the actions of the search dogs and their firefighter partners. I had to find out more about them and my quest led me to the discovery of the SDF. I was compelled to be part of the organization that brought together both two and four-legged heroes. In my over 10 years of involvement my respect has deepened. My family sponsored Aspen (since retired after a stellar career) and couldn't have been prouder to tell the world about our latest addition! Witnessing the love that exists between firefighter and canine; knowing they are there for each other and for victims of disasters, tugs at my heart in a way that nothing else has ever done.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

As a Search Dog Foundation (SDF) volunteer for the past 6.5 years, I have seen this organization grow by leaps and bounds. Its mission to rescue high-energy dogs from shelters and breed rescues, train them to be rescuers, and then give these extraordinary canines to firefighters and other first responders is the reason I became involved -- it mirrored my fallen colleague's passions -- giving to others and her love of dogs. With support from court reporters across America, the Julie Brandau Community Service Memorial has sponsored six SDF canines to date, and our memorial continues to thrive! The Foundation's staff is a lean, hard-working, dedicated group who are always there to cheer us on in our quest to keep Julie's memory alive. The Foundation's mission to strengthen America's disaster response network -- at no cost to fire departments -- is a noble one, and they've proven to me that they're a great nonprofit!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful?