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Illinois Birddog Rescue Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Rescue of pointers and setters

Programs: Dogs rescued rehabilitated and adopted

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a relatively new to IBR. I have volunteered in dog rescue for many years, and am impressed by this group's many different volunteers and supporters, from foster parents to transport pilots to veterinarians. Not only are needy and deserving dogs finding permanent loving homes, but important work is being done regarding tick borne illnesses. And I have the pleasure of loving on Captain Jack Sparrow!

Review from Guidestar

Christy C.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Couldn't ask for a better rescue to find your next best birddog friend. I'v adopted two dogs from IBR and couldn't imagine my life without these two wonderful dogs. The dog's health and well being always comes first--just an excellent rescue.

Review from Guidestar

Gina Vittorio C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First off Lisa who runs IBR is an amazing person. She is someone who puts her whole life into helping hundreds of dogs that would otherwise have been killed or dead from tick borne diseases. I am a two time foster failure. I also adopted my English pointer prior to fostering from IBR. Some People don't believe or don't care, I don't know which, about learning and treating tick diseases. These are the individuals who will most likely lose their pet at an early age. Why you would want to get a dog and make it a family member and then not care about testing and treating and being difficult is a reason maybe you were denied adoption from IBR. LIsa is a wealth of knowledge on tick borne diseases and cares who is adopting her dogs. Making sure they are a good fit with a family. IBR is not a rescue that brings in dogs just to save them in numbers. IBR is a rescue that cares about saving dogs and healing them so people can have a long quality of life best friend. Visit the IBR website and see what IBR is all about.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The first dog I applied for I was denied. I made some fence improvements and I got my lovely Tucker-an eight yo vizsla. He ended up being sick and had to have his spleen and a Tumor removed and passed away. Lisa Spakowski is a wonderful advocate for all dogs. She guided me through his illness and carefully has all dogs tested for tick borne disease and treated. She puts her heart and soul into these dogs. Bless her and IBR

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog Flash a couple of years ago from IBR. Lisa is fantastic as the head of this organization. She truly cares about the dogs she saves and the group of people who are adopters and volunteers for the organization. She spreads the word about how many, if not all, of these dogs are effected by Lyme/Tick born illnesses and how the treatment of these issues is so important. She has saved the lives and prevented suffering of so many dogs who would not have been treated or even tested for these issues if not for Lisa's hard work and dedication.
Eric Lindh

Review from Guidestar

Judy M.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about IBR. Thanks to the director Lisa so many many dogs have found wonderful forever homes. We have adopted 3 dogs from IBR. Lisa makes sure you are fully aware of all health issues. She follows up with adopting families. She knows how to match a dog with an owner
because she knows and believes dogs are family. For my husband and I our dogs are best friends and family. Our granddaughter has also adopted from IBR. lisa's knowledge and quest to continue to be on top of research for tick diseases and Lyme disease helps us provide the best health for our dogs. I highly recommend IBR and recommend IBR as a worthy organization for donations.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

IBR has educated me in the process of rescuing dogs. This organization has vast knowledge and experience. I have experienced few organizations with such passion and love dedicated to helping rescue dogs. My pointer has changed my life and I am forever grateful. Please donate to IBR.

Review from Guidestar

Jessica M.12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Illinois birddog rescue is really about the saving the dogs. Lisa has done her homework and not only saves the dogs from horrible living conditions, kill shelters or puppy mills but also test for common diseases like Lyme and co infections so these dogs can thrive and live a long happy life in their new loving home.
No one realizes how prevalent Lyme disease is especially in hunting dogs but the disease and co infections are real. So glad Illinois birddog is around to save them.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found IBR after I lost my tricolored Setter from another rescue group, to a sudden death. Daisy Mae had been riddled with health issues that were missed by her rescue group. I didn't want to get another dog from her group, so I found IBR. Lisa has a sixth sense at matching her dogs to potential adopters!! I am amazed by her tireless efforts in rescuing, vetting, transporting, fostering, & fund raising! All the while supporting and advising us adopters when we have issues with one of our dogs. Hell, she has even helped me with dogs I adopted that weren't even adopted through IBR!! Remy and I are forever grateful and I hope to be a part of this rescue group for the rest of my life!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I've known the founder, Lisa Spakowski, since IBR's inception. She and her volunteers have saved hundreds of dogs over the years, and if you check out their website, you can read about a lot of dogs that they have rescued, treated and found homes for that might have otherwise died. The Rescue is a wealth of information on skin disease, tick-borne illness and other problems many are unaware of or consider untreatable...and their efforts to educate the dog owning public have helped lots of humans and canines (and a few kats!) over the years. I can guarantee you that if you provide financial assistance to this group, the monies will be well-spent helping the animals in their care.

Review from Guidestar

Katey H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IBR! I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM THEM IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. I ADOPTED THE BEST DOG EVER THROUGH THEM. THEY TAUGHT ME A LOT ABOUT TICK BORN DISEASE AS WELL AS ABOUT HEART WORM SLOW KILL. I WOULD RECOMMEND THEM TO ANYONE WHO IS A SERIOUS BIRD DOG LOVER!!!

Review from Guidestar

Katrina T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a foster and adopter thru IBR for 2 years. My very first foster was a failure . We happily addd him to our pack. I have fostered 6 Pointers or Setters. I have dealt with many rescues as my pack is almost all" second hand hounds". Running a rescue is not an easy thing to do and you can not please all the people all the time. Lisa is fully engaged and always willing to help.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am both a client and volunteer for this rescue. I adopted the most wonderful dog from IBR in 2007, and we just recently lost him at nearly 16 years of age. I also adopted another in October of 2018 and currently am fostering one of their senior rescue dogs. IBR is at the forefront of research and testing for tick borne illness-which is rampant in the majority of the pups they bring in. IBR has saved many lives and is a wonderful rescue that takes the time to make sure adopters are vetted and protocols regarding medical treatment are followed by adopters when Lyme disease or other illnesses are present.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love our dog so much we got from IBR! Couldn't imagine life without her.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Illinois Birddog Rescue is the greatest thing to ever happen to me. Every member of the group is dedicated to the health and well being of the pets, no matter the age or condition. I have adopted and fostered more setters from them then I can count. Lisa has made groundbreaking advances in tick borne illnesses and actually convinced my vet to look at them from a different light.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Lisa for more than 4 years now. I have adopted two dogs through her. She has kept exceptional records as to treating these dogs for Lyme disease and their co-infections for more than 15 years! Because of this, she is able to offer great advice in how these dogs get treated and giving them the longest life expectancy that they can have. She even helped me with a rescue dog that didn't come through her rescue! I am forever indebted to her for her wonderful advice and guidance. I would definitely adopt through her again as I feel she has the best intentions for every dog. I donate to her rescue on a regular basis because I see exactly where she is spending the money. I am involved with many charitable organizations and I actively look at their financials before making the decision to support them. I highly recommend Illinois Birddog Rescue.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted two pointers from this rescue. The head of the rescue (lisa) has been extremely supportive of me and my dogs, including a rescue dog that was not gotten through this rescue. Lyme infected dogs are a huge problem in this country and becoming bigger. It is such a big problem for many reasons but for me one of the top reasons is animal behavior. One of my pointer's personalities completely changes when she is taking a break from the long term antibiotics needed to treat chronic Lyme - and not in a good way. She becomes aggressive and very noise sensitive. If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it! Lisa has guided me through treatment of all my rescue dogs. Her passion to help animals with Lyme stems from have chronic Lyme disease herself. As we have seen in the media, chronic Lyme is more and more prevalent - so awareness is finally coming! Lisa is ahead of her time in this area. I'm very grateful.

Tina N.2

Donor

Rating: 5

We adopted Dalton from Illinois Birddog Rescue approximately 3.5 years ago. We originally where just donating to his care but fell in love with him and eventually adopted him. Lisa has been an invaluable help with his care and also in my opinion saved the life of our other pointer Rebel by suggesting to us to have him tested for Addisons Disease when even our vets had tried everthing possible to save his life. He would have died had it not been for her help. I will always support this rescue in anyway I can. Tina Neely

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This rescue works tirelessly to ensure they match the best home to the right dogs. Their dedication to the health, happiness, and well-being of all animals completely blows me away. I have both adopted and volunteered for this organization. For a small group always running too thin on funds, they do more than almost all other rescues.

Turning down interested applicants is necessary when you care for your pets as a member of the family, and not just an animal.

Review from Guidestar

Don W.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Inquired about a dog we were looking to possible adopt. Little information provided. Several emails later, asked Lisa (IBDR) “president” to call me to discuss info. She refused to call to discuss and info without a completed Adoption Application stating she didn’t want to “waste time”. She was very callus and rude, stating SHE is “going to pass” because I wanted to find out info about a dog. She said I was “snarky” and didn’t want to talk with me... all because I was looking for more information before filling out a 3 page, detailed application... (I have emails to prove my claims.) so much for wasting time. I thought IBDR was in the rescue & adoption business. SAD!!!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We adopted our English Setter from IBR 2 yrs ago and were very impressed with how thorough the dog’s medical issues were addressed and how careful they were in placing the dog in the absolute best forever home. They have since kept track of our dog and helped us keep him healthy and joyful. This is extremely unusual for a rescue to have such caring and concern after a dog has been adopted. This is unheard of in the rescue world when it should be the standard. IBR lives by a gold standard and we are so thankful. I served on a humane society board & resigned from that board because too many animals were having medical issues not addressed properly and many animals were just going to anyone without proper screening. I was unable to make any lasting changes so I left. I work with animal rescue groups all over the country and IBR is absolutely the best. Keep up the good work, you have set the bar very high!

1 Lisa S.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Not sure who these folks are condemning the great work we at IBR have done the past 14 years, but there will always be people that are not happy or feel like they are not being thanked enough or taken advantage of. I am very careful when it comes to screening potential adopters as there is so much ignorance about tick borne disease if an adopter is not on board with the commitment it takes to keep one of our special dogs healthy for many years to come, I have to turn them down. Volunteering is a thankless job and it is hard work. I started IBR when I wasn't happy volunteering for a national Pointer rescue and so many rescues start when disgruntled volunteers decide they can do better on their own. The amount of dedication it takes to stay in rescue where the burn out is so high I think says a lot about my stubborn Setter streak. I've fought hard to bring IBR's message about tick borne disease to the public and thankfully have a DVM adopter that helps test and treat most of our incoming dogs. In 2017 alone I had to let go 4 senior dogs that I tried to give the best life in spite of their chronic health conditions- 4 dogs in 5 months. I was devastated but had to go on and continue saving more and fundraising to help so many dogs with so many health issues. I am very lucky to have many benefactors that help this little rescue keep going and many of the adopters I can call good friends. Our work speaks for itself and you can visit www.illinoisbirddogrescue.org and www.facebook.com/ILbirddog as I post many of our successes there. It hasn't been an easy road-- it has been exhausting at times especially with my own Lyme disease illness, but I am proud what we do here and thankfully slowly but surely our message is getting out. Lisa, IBR's Founder & President- missing my Lani and even crabby Boone who both left me this year.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I had a horrible experience with this organization. The founder, Lisa, was incredibly rude and defensive when I asked questions and offered a suggestion about adoption. I will stick to other rescues in the future- I only hope she treats the dogs better than she treats people.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 1

The founder of this rescue is an abusive and cruel woman. She hids behind the dog rescue to collect money for her own living expenses and bully tactics. She has a large history of taking in volunteers with huge generous hearts and using and abusing them,sometimes even pubically humiliating them if they decide they wish to leave. Be careful of engaging into this rescue. If you do find a dog you are looking to adopt from them, I would stay as far away from this founders crazy tactics as possible to stay safe.