National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc.

Rating: 4.99 stars   77 reviews

Issues: Animals, Disaster Aid, Health

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.
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 77-0412509
888-459-4376
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

What can I do but echo all of the wonderful things that have already been said here? Like many others, I discovered SDF right after the Twin Towers attack while searching for an organization in need of support. For my late husband and I, both animal lovers, the dogs were the only bright spot in the incredibly disturbing footage of the disaster. Reports of bogus non-profits were already circulating, but SDF stood out like a shining star. I have since become a huge fan and, while my budget does not allow equally huge donations, I am still treated like donor royalty. I have worked in non-profits and know that staff is usually small with volunteers picking up a big part of the work load. It is always amazing and gratifying to receive such immediate, heartfelt and personal acknowledgement of my semi-annual donations and frequent feedback. I am privileged to have communicated via email with The Terrific Trio.....Wilma, Debra and Rhett......on a regular basis and consider them dear friends. What Wilma has accomplished continues to boggle the mind, and I'm sure she still hasn't peaked. SDF and its people are a class act. The organization should be used as the template for re-organizing existing non-profits and starting up new ones.
Juanita in NJ

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

Move to Santa Paula and become a daily volunteer!

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2013

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The National Search Dog Foundation is committed to strengthening disaster response in America through the recruitment and training of search dog teams – it’s a mission that Woodmen of the World stands behind and supports, as we’ve been providing relief for natural disasters since 1900.

Every person that we came in contact with at the SDF shared a passion and love for the work they do – and that passion was passed to our associates, families and friends. We’ve been truly amazed at the talent and abilities of both the trainers and their search dogs! We look forward to seeing what great things they have planned for the future.

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2013

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My employer has an employee charitable contribution campaign each year. There are several animal charities to select for contributions. I want you to know that in the past two years, I changed the animal organization to which I donated twice because the last two organizations never acknowledged my donations. I contributed every month for a full year, and never heard even a basic "Thank You" from them.

This year, I changed my donation once again, and selected SDF, although I was unfamiliar with the organization. Shortly after the first donation, I received a most impressive letter co-authored by the SDF Executive Director, Debra Tosch, and one of their SDF Search Dog Candidates, Crockett! Crockett's paw print was in the signature line of the letter. After I wiped our 17-year-old daughter's, my wife's and my eyes, I committed to contributing to this organization from now on.

Just this simple acknowledgement meant so much and the personality of the organization's leadership won our hearts. I am very convinced of SDF's value to the Search & Rescue Community. However, I am also now convinced of the quality and personability of the organizations's staff.

I recommend everyone to look into contributing to this great organization!

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2013

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been making gifts to this organization for about 10 years. They are wonderful, dedicated people from top to bottom and they are excellent stewards of their donor contributions. I am delighted to see them earn the top 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.

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2012

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

SDF is the only organization in the United States that partners rescued dogs with firefighters and trains them at no cost to the government or tax-payers.
It's a win-win situation all the way. This organization receives no help what so ever from the Government.

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2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I wanted to find a non-profit organization I could donate to after the tragedy of 9/11. National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc. was a perfect choice for me because I love the fact this organization is a double blessing in that first the dog is rescued, then people are rescued. SDF ensures lifetime care for every dog in their program. Once a rescued dog is accepted into SDF's program, that dog will never need to be rescued again. SDF's mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. This organization also offers the professionally trained canines an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments.

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

Thanks to Mutual Aid Agreements between counties, cities and states, these precious, life-saving resources can be shared regionally and nationally. I've personally witnessed this organization send first responders to help out during the Haiti earthquake as well. They also served in numerous disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, mud slides, train derailments and building collapses and ones closer to home.

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

There are currently 74 SDF-trained Search Teams located in CA, FL, NE, NY, OK, TX and UT. I hope the organization can continue to grow and prosper so they can help others and one day possibly be located in every state in this country.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

If I had more to give, or could personally give my time and effort to this group, I would. Without question, humble, smart, dedicated and extremely gracious for any and all support. SDF does not inundate you with immediate requests, instead, they thank you appropriately and communicate when the time is right and needed. It makes you feel like you are actually working with them and the dogs, and not just a check book for the day to day. I save my thank you letters with paw prints and actual hand notes and signatures. I only wish to never have to be face to face with one of the life saving teams they build, and in the event I'd be in a rescue needing that dedication, four paws, a wet nose, with one goal to work and save, would be awesome.

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2012

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

The NSDF is an exceptional organization. Its commitment to rescuing dogs, partnered with first responders and trained to save lives is truly inspiring. In 2012, my husband and I became sponsors of two Search Teams in Texas. Our contribution has been so warmly and graciously acknowledged by both the corporate office and the Search Team handlers. We will continue to support the fine efforts of the NSDF and look forward to tracking the development of our Sponsoree Dogs.

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Rating: 5 stars  

National Search Dog Foundation is a model nonprofit that really understands how to communicate and engage their customers. My family adopted a dog from their Lifetime Care program and have also been donors. They consistently and effectively keep in touch with us, they care about the dogs that have been connected to the foundation and they run an extremely effective nonprofit. I would highly recommend NSDF -- as a donor, a customer, and a community member. NSDF is truly top-notch.

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2012

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

My son has adopted shelter dogs, so I know he will appreciate a donation in his honor to the Search Dog Foundation, an organization that provides an important tool for to assist humans when natural disasters strike. We support the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation because we know that many dog owners across the country qualify their own animals as search and rescue dogs as well as companion canines. The more search dogs that are trained, the better off we are.

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2012

 
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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The NDSDF is one of the most admirable charitable organizations I have had the pleasure of working with. The staff of the NDSDF is professional, dedicated and hardworking, and strives, on a daily basis, to maintain their goal of excellence. Their effort and support during disasters is invaluable.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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