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National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Emergency Medical Services & Transport, Health, Search & Rescue Squads

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.

Programs: Produce dogs trained in search and rescue with fire fighter handlers directly influencing how disaster search dogs are trained nationally.

Community Stories

150 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Linda418

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have watched this Foundation grow from its inception in 1996 to the present. I have now been a proud volunteer since 2014. Its mission is to strengthen disaster response by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters to find people buried alive in disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. Once a dog is rescued from a shelter, it will never go back even if it doesn’t work out in the program. A lifetime care home will be found for each dog that doesn’t make the program. I have one of those lifetime care dogs. I witness the training and love given to each dog rescued and get to watch as each dog is paired with a handler. All these dogs become FEMA trained dogs and are ready in an instant if a disaster happens. These highly trained dogs are vital in searching as they can get into places where humans can’t, and they can alert when they find someone. The Search Dog Foundation follows up on each and every dog that comes to its campus. This Foundation was the vision of one lady, Wilma Melville, who saw the need for search dogs when she went with her own dog to the Oklahoma City bombing. What an accomplishment for her to see what she envisioned come to fruition. This is a very worthwhile and awesome Foundation.

Anna C.12

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had the incredible fortune to work with National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, to adopt our beloved dog Shenzi. Not only has she brought tremendous joy to our family, but meeting the team at Search Dog Foundation has been an additional bonus. We have since returned for additional training, and the staff have gone above and beyond, spending time with us, and teaching our 9 year old additional techniques. We are forever fans!

Donor

Rating: 5

Search Dog Foundation is a nonprofit organization that excels with their mission, their donors and their volunteers. I am fortunate to be involved as a recent volunteer and a supporter for dozens of years. Supporting animals and especially dogs is a priority for me, so supporting Search Dog fulfills that mission and raises the bar by supporting human rescue efforts as well. Check out this group and all they do throughout the world.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

So they rescue dogs that nobody wants? Then they create true-to-life super heroes that can find disaster victims quicker than technological doodads and gadgets?! This is simply the most greatest organization I can think of!! Of course I say this with little bit of bias, but how can I not when they have paired me with one of those incredible super heroes and provided us with the help and support we've needed to become a fully certified FEMA Canine Search Team! Their training campus is beyond compare, the volunteers and training staff are wonderful, veterinary and health support is supreme, and there's the fact that even if a dog doesn't make the cut to be a disaster search dog, the Search Dog Foundation will ensure that that dog will find its purpose in another job or a caring home!!! Thank you National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for what you do!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We learned of SDF’s wonderful work in 2009 during a fundraising campaign featuring rescued dogs partnered with first-responders and disaster search teams. The concept of training rescued dogs to become highly-skilled rescuers themselves – just made sense to us and worthy of charitable giving and support.

SDF’s Lifetime Care Program provides an honorable promise: rescued dogs who for whatever reason are unable to complete SDF’s arduous training program –will be found a suitable, loving, and lifetime home. SDF’s Lifetime Care Coordinator, Krista Eulberg, and Jenn Mueller, SDF trainer, ensured a smooth transition for Duke as he became part of our family in early 2021. SDF’s on-going support and commitment makes this Lifetime Care Program a true success and now brings a special joy to our lives through Duke.

1 Bill G.8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We found out about SDF when we decided it was time again and started the search to adopt. Since finding out about SDF earlier this year I have shared our story of adding a new family member and their amazing program and facility in Santa Paula, California.

Along came Bravo....and the Search Dog Foundation. After two visits with Bravo, Krista, and Abby we were so fortunate to welcome Bravo into our family. It was on St. Patrick's Day that Krista called and told me Bravo's Dance Card was complete and Mary and I were the last names left. I guess we should have done an Irish Jig!

Since then Bravo has become part of the family and the neighborhood.

Also I was so impressed by the facility that I have offered to be a maintenance volunteer. I had the pleasure of meeting with Jim Wiggins and touring the facility. My career has been in facilities engineering and maintenance and would love to continue doing so at this world class facility. The dogs deserve the best and that is what SDF does!

BTW, Bravo thinks SDF means Surf Dog Foundation!

Many thanks to the SDF Staff, Volunteers, and Supporters!

Mary & Bill Gruener

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Both my husband and I, becoming more and more familiar with National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, find re-validation of our personal mission, helping Canines. We believe that dogs need mental and physical stimulation as well as challenge to be healthy 4-legged members of society… and WE BELIEVE "every dog" needs "a job." Be it as a companion enriching our lives through laughter, affection, love, or assistance or just plain peppering our daily routines with their way of keeping us fit, walking/running along side by side - We have seen our dog, an AAT (meet and greet medical and crisis gal) how she would display her personal exuberance just putting on her vest and "going to work…" The passion that a SEARCH DOG CANDIDATE demonstrates for play, resulting in a simple reward, love and honor ensures OUR safety thru the NDSDF Training Center and FEMA Certification. In the narrative of our lives, We keep NDSDF in our thoughts and in our Charitable Giving. SDF is definitely a part of our Estate Planning. The National Training Center and the folks who attend to these "previous shelter K9s" have every ounce of our RESPECT.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has sponsored 28 (including three currently in training) search dog teams with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. From the people who work in the offices, to the folks that bathe and feed the dogs, to the outstanding trainers, and the wonderful volunteers, this organization deserves far more than five stars. I have never met a more dedicated, compassionate, "totally in love with the dogs" group of people than the staff here. This starts at the very top with Wilma . . . . she is the absolute best. She had a vision to train shelter dogs to become the rescuers. She has determination that is an inspiration to all that meet her. SDF has saved hundreds of dogs from being euthanized by giving them a life-saving job. They find a "career" change for the dogs that don't have the drive to be a search dog, no dog is left behind. It has been an absolute honor for my family to support the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

1 Betty J.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Sunday, September 12th (2021): Saw a wonderful session on ths awesome organization on CBS Sunday Morning. Loving dogs and strongly believing in its mission, I immediately, decided to donate in Memory of: Judy Froh (maiden name) a classmate of mine from Fort Dodge Senior HIgh School, Ft. Dodge, IA - class of 1967. Judy was one of the 168 victims of the Oklahoma City bombing - if I recall correctly, she was an employee of HUD. Although Judy and I had not stayed in contact since our "high school years", memory of the fond times we spent at lunch were still present. RIP, Judy. Keep up the great work, K-9's and handlers!

Alice E.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been giving to this nonprofit for a few years, and I've been very impressed by them and the hard work they do to train these awesome dogs to do search and rescue work. It's a win/win - they adopt dogs from shelters who have the qualities they are looking for then they train them and, if by some chance the dog isn't able to do the work, the dog will always have a home with them regardless. Read about them and the amazing work that they train these dogs to do!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We can't say enough goods things about SDF and the team of wonderful people who are dedicated to such an important mission. Thank the universe for my sister who connected us with the amazing Krista Eulberg who got us Piper, the brightest light. Although Piper didn't graduate the program. She graduated into our lives filling it with fun filled days of playing ball, beach swims, hikes in the outdoors and even some big city living. Not to mention unconditional love and loyalty that words can't explain. The entire adoption process is so well designed, professional and thoughtful. The support we received from the SDF team, specifically Jenn Mueller who helped guide us through some ups and downs during Piper's adjustment period as she was transitioning into her new life and Fur-ever home. They took the time to listen to our needs and they care so much about each one of the dogs, mutually ensuring the dog and new family are a fit. Well, we sure are happy we found Piper. We will forever support SDF and hope that this inspires you to do the same.
With so much Love,
Sam, Sasha & Piper

Donor

Rating: 5

This a great organization full of people who are dedicated to their amazing and important mission. Even during COVID, with all of the restrictions, they were able to safely have dogs continue to be cared for on-site as they were trained. They even graduated dogs and sent them out to new task forces. They take great pride in finding homes for dogs who aren't able to complete the training - another outstanding part of their work turning the rescued into rescuers.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We heard of National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc., and were very interested. Before we donate to any organization, we critically and carefully investigate the organization. We researched National Disaster Search dog Foundation, Inc. throughly and found it to be even more positive then expected. From that time we have been loyal supporters, and have even been personally contacted by foundation personnel, including the founder. Each of these contacts have been extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. We strongly encourage you to support this important endeavor!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our family was very lucky to adopt a wonderful black lab named Gande who was not able to complete the course. He was still able to perform a very important task and that was making our family complete with his loving kind soul. It is amazing what this organization does for search and rescue during natural disasters and they play such an integral role to all communities. Everyone from the staff to the handlers have offered support in the form of zoom meetings to texting to aid us in becoming the best forever home we can. We can't say enough about the SDF but thank you to everyone and the role they have in training these wonderful animals to save lives and complete other lives.
Thank you,
The Cattanach Family

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with the SDF for several years now, and have only had positive experiences. I've had the opportunity to do several different kinds of work, from basic administration tasks to hiding from the search dogs in training exercises. Every time I've been at the foundation, I've felt like I was able to make a difference as part of the SDF family.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Perhaps I am not quite the person you had in mind when asking for a review of the nonprofit that I have founded....but because I am proud of the Search Dog Foundation (SDF), I'm going to write a review anyway.

First, I am pleased with the sincere dedication and teamwork attitude that SDF staff members bring to their work. Next, I am awed at the consistent thoughtful energy that the Executive Director brings to the campus each day. Lastly, the Board is a group of engaged individuals that come from dramatically varied backgrounds which brings a strength of understanding to this decision making body. All this did not happen by accident. SDF's donors are steadfast so they surely sense that their trust is honored. Yes, this is what SDF has built over the past 25 years for the purpose of strengthening disaster response in America.

1 Ryan M.7

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that not only rescues dogs but gives them a purpose and a home. We became a lifetime care provider for one of their dogs that unfortunately wasn't right for search dog training, but was nevertheless a very well behaved and loving pooch. The NDSDF not only helped us find our Zeke, but stayed in touch to make sure that we were a good fit and that he was continuing to thrive. They clearly care about their dogs, their handlers and all of the people ultimately saved by their efforts.

2 Linda418

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have watched this Foundation grow from its inception in 1996 to the present. I have now been a proud volunteer since 2014. Its mission is to strengthen disaster response by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters to find people buried alive in disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. Once a dog is rescued from a shelter, it will never go back even if it doesn’t work out in the program. A lifetime care home will be found for each dog that doesn’t make the program. I have one of those lifetime care dogs. I witness the training and love given to each dog rescued and get to watch as each dog is paired with a handler. All these dogs become FEMA trained dogs and are ready in an instant if a disaster happens. These highly trained dogs are vital in searching as they can get into places where humans can’t, and they can alert when they find someone. The Search Dog Foundation follows up on each and every dog that comes to its campus. This Foundation was the vision of one lady, Wilma Melville, who saw the need for search dogs when she went with her own dog to the Oklahoma City bombing. What an accomplishment for her to see what she envisioned come to fruition. This is a very worthwhile and awesome Foundation.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been aware of the National DisasterSearch Dog Foundation since it was founded in 1996. They rescue dogs from shelters and train them to be disaster Search Dogs. I volunteer for this Foundation, and I have met the trainers and many of the handlers and the dogs. Teams have been deployed to 9/11, Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, Nepal, Japan, just to name a few. I can’t express enough how important this Foundation is to everyone. The dogs can search places that are hard for humans to get to. If I were in a disaster and wasn’t found right away, I would certainly be happy to have a dog find me! The dogs who are in training are some of the happiest dogs I’ve seen. They are well cared for while in training, and then they are paired with a fireman and they become a team and become FEMA certified. Such a worthwhile organization!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of this organization since close to it's inception. I remember being proud when I saw the banner about SDF running on the news after 9/11. I was in Washington D.C. on that tragic day and evacuated out of the city on foot with the smoke billowing out of the Pentagon. Upon my return, my kids and their friends made bone-shaped cookies and sold them in front of our house to raise money for SDF. I am now a proud volunteer, fixing meals for the dogs, cleaning and yes "picking up poop." With every disaster that hits I receive some solace in knowing "our dogs are there." I continue to be amazed at the work they do and the dedication of staff even during these difficult times.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I discovered Search Dog Foundation a couple years ago. I have so enjoyed my volunteer work with them. The folks are so appreciative of your contributions to the organization, be it large or small. In their eyes, no task is too small. Everything is reduced to the final product...saving lives in a disaster. And that is no small task.
I also love there commitment to their dogs. [And...a sidebar note, all who work there just love dogs.] They scout shelters looking for dogs to rescue that possibly fit their search. If the dog doesn't make it thru the training process, they find a loving home for that dog. He/she does not return to the shelter. And that shows compassion for our furry friends.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to work with the National Search Dog Foundation for the past 5 years, in a professional capacity. The folks at NSDF are some of the most genuine, caring and knowledgeable people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. The level of care and training the team provides is world class. I attended an open house last year and was able to see the dogs and handlers in action. It was amazing to see the dogs interact with their handler to quickly find their target in a variety of disaster scenarios such as the rubble pile and search city. It’s amazing that NSDF recruits their dogs from shelters and rescues, partners them with a handler and then deploys them to a disaster to search and save lives. I’m honored, not only to work with NSDF but to also have made many friends over the years. They provide a much needed service and do an amazing job. Keep up the great work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An organization that searches out the talented misfits of the K9 world and trains them into top-tier search dogs--what's not to love? Where most people would give up on these lively doggos, SDF exhibits patience, professionalism, and kindness to give these four-legged heroes a new life. I have seen this organization grow over the past few years and they are always at the forefront in training, k9 care, and giving back--not just to the local community--but to our entire society as the dogs they train deploy in response to disasters worldwide!

hismile64

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for about 6 months. This organization is absolutely amazing! The people here are clearly passionate about what they do and it shows in all aspects. As a volunteer, I feel extremely appreciated and valued. The dogs are trained by professionals and are extremely well cared for. I feel blessed to be able to be a part of the SDF Family!

Kathy C.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this company on Facebook and from what I have seen the work they do for both dogs and people just fills my heart with hope. If you love dogs, this company is just amazing. Dogs that have difficulty getting homes, but love to work and serve are rescued and loved. They also help humanity in some of the most desperate of situations. I just cannot think of a better nonprofit. Thank you for your work and inspirational stories. Maybe there is hope for us yet.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I 1st learned of this group when I decided to donate after the attack on the world trade towers in New York City. I knew people would be donating money to aid and assist people so I decided to donate to aid and assist all the search and rescue dogs who came from across the country can you york city solely for the purpose of helping.

I have seen this organization grow from a small group of dedicated individuals to O large foundation of extraordinary trainers dogs and handlers.

I am very proud to be a supporter of this foundation and hope many will join me in supporting and sponsoring.

Jolene T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to send out a heart felt thank you to National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF). Moxie is the most amazing and dedicated search dog and SDF helped in ways they can’t imagine. In the last couple of weeks Moxie was diagnosed with cancer in her back leg and told it would have to be amputated. She had the surgery Monday night and came home last night, she is doing very well but still trying to figure things out. Let me tell you about our sweet girl. She does her job searching even though just a couple of years ago we found out she has been blind her whole life, she doesn’t need to see in order to sniff out her victims. Being blind and now having three legs I am certain that she will continue to do her job well once she has had time to recover.
Brent and I want to thank SDF from the bottom of our heart for your love and dedication to all your dogs and especially our Moxie!!! Thank you!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is full of compassionate dedicated professionals who work with rescued dogs to help them become the rescuers. I have supported this organization for many years and have been fortunate enough to also volunteer with them.

Lisa2345678

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization does amazing work, turning rescue dogs into rescuers. Who knows how many dogs, and people, they've saved?

Rachel L.6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Myself and my live-find search and rescue canine are currently here in California, all the way from Mobile, Alabama, to attend a continuing education seminar being held at the training facility! The set-up here is AMAZING; the rubble piles, the housing facades and equipment used for training (and the staff) are all top notch. The training we received here has been invaluable to helping myself and my dog become a better team!!

2 Rudy V.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm am blown away by the top notch training and facilities afforded to those incredible dogs rescued from an unfortunate situation and then turned into Rescuers. As a member of California Task Force 4 I recently went through the Search Dog Foundation Handler's course and was lucky to have been chosen by K9 Topa as her partner. The level of support and care that the Search Dog Foundation will provide for us through our career is beyond incredible! Because of them Topa and I will do great things together for the communities we serve, and ultimately make a difference for somebody in need.

Jan S.4

Donor

Rating: 5

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a great nonprofit organization. The work they do trading Search Dogs and their human partners is second to none! In addition whenever I have called with questions on giving programs I have received thorough and personal information. Thinking of all the disasters worldwide that the Search Teams help, they are very deserving of support and donations.

Christine D.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to receive a private tour and learn about this amazing organization. Staffed with absolute professionals.

Patricia U.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have loved seeing all the amazing canine heroes come through the LACoFD Family. My husband had deployed with many and we are always grateful they are there with him. Our son wanted to help and he raised a birthday donation fund to support this great organization and was honored to tour this facility. He now wants to be a handler when he grows up to be a Firefighter. Keep saving lives and keep doing what you all do!

Chelsi

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After becoming a volunteer then an employee I can’t list enough good things to say about this foundation. Their mission to strengthen disaster search is a goal they are accomplishing every day. I was lucky enough to become a lifetime care home to a very special dog that SDF has helped me with anytime I’ve needed them. We can’t thank them enough for what they have done, are doing currently and plans for the future!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Living in Ojai I've always seen SDF when driving by but never knew what or how it was run. Then through a school post I saw they needed volunteers for the summer, so here was my chance! They do more than anyone can ever imagine, with their very amazing and dedicated staff just a handful of people run everything. We all see what the dogs are capable of when they are out searching for the people, but what goes into that to get them ready is absolutely amazing! I have to say I am very lucky to have been able to come in and volunteer with them and with the help of them I know what I want to do in my life. Thanks SDF!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a donor as well as a volunteer for SDF for about five years now. They rely heavily on volunteers for a wide variety of tasks. This allows them to have a relatively small staff so the money donated actually goes to the cause - training dogs and humans to search for and save victims of disasters. The dogs themselves are rescued from shelters. They guarantee that dogs rescued will never go back to a shelter. They make a promise to find them a different job or a loving family if they don't make it through training. A great group of passionate people running this organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been both a donor and a volunteer for SDF for about four or five years now. They have grown a lot in that time and are in the process of making founder, Wilma Melville's dream of a state-of-the-art training facility, a reality. Through all the growth, they have retained that small operation mentality of thanking their donors and making everyone feel a part of the organization. Funds raised actually go where they are needed rather than to marketing. Volunteers are a big part of that philosophy!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with the Search Dog Foundation for 8 years working as a volunteer. The organization and its employees are top-notch. I have personally witnessed the dedicated service of and remarkable partnership between the handlers and dogs. I am glad such a stellar organization exists. Should I or a loved one have the misfortune of being a disaster victim, I have total confidence in the Search Dog Foundation.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Search Dog Foundation does amazing work, transforming rescued dogs into rescuers who deploy across the nation. As global warming persists and more destruction occurs, it is fantastic to know there is an organization set out to find people alive in the wake of disasters. An all around strong mission and organization that I'm happy to support and encourage anyone to support as well.

2 MWFC

Donor

Rating: 5

The Moorpark Womens Fortnightly Club discovered a retired schoolteacher named Wilma Melville working out of her house in Ojai, CA (within the Ventura County limits which qualified our club to support an approved charity) She began to publicize Her little rescue of rescued dogs from our County Shelter & that is a gift from Above! Saving lives of dogs with too much energy for most homes. They no longer languish in a 4x6 concrete cell ~ She gave them a job to do. So, after training at what became her multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art disaster facility, we fondly remember the rainy morning in 2005 when she came with her dog Murphy to speak to our club. We became life-long fans, myself in charge of collecting donations for SDF & staying on top the the news that comes from them every day on social media. SDF trained-teams have been deployed to current Hurricane disaster zones, but they are most famous for attending 2 local disasters last year. The Montecito Mudslides & it's predesessor, the#ThomasFire which ignited within a mile of their facility. They were the first to evac, moved right into a hotel in Ventura with open arms, because the fire was bearing down & eventually captured the city & most of SDF's beloved home. The Dogs were safe, the Kennels were spared but the property & training fixtures were gone. So, the mission starts over .. be part of the Search! >..

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

In 2005, I joined the Moorpark Women's Fortnightly Club in honor of their 100th Anniversary here in Moorpark, California ~ the very first guest speaker I heard was this lovely little woman from Ojai who had begun a 'rescue' of sorts for shelter dogs in Ventura County & turned them into Search & Rescue Dogs at her home & training facility .. since then, I've kept up with Wilma through local news & now social media. It is extraordinary that she has become quite the celebrity having expanded from her original idea leading up to today's current level of Search & Rescue expertise! It's the growth factor that makes this non-profit deserving of this attention, but the growth factor really translates into more lives saved, both human & canine. Next semester, the Club is re-instating this charity as official in it's annual budgetary donations list supporting local charities .. guess who grabbed the open position of Chairman? Sincerely, Kathleen Walle ~ Moorpark, California 93021 kjwalle5@roadrunner.com

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization goes above and beyond to provide assistance to those in disaster situations. I am very familiar with them and could not be more proud to call them the best.
The staff/the handlers and we cannot forget the heroe dogs work so hard to train and provide unbelievable rescue services to those in need. They are 5 Star ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kelly Stark L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beautiful, top of the line facility. The dogs are happy, well trained and well loved. I love that they use rescued dogs to become search and rescue team members.

karentfay

Donor

Rating: 5

The Search Dog Foundation has been our families' key charity for over 20 years. Their purpose is such a beautiful, and useful, concept. Simply put, all working breed & many mix-breed dogs want jobs. They live to make use of their gifts and to be loyal companions. The SDF makes sure that many, many shelter dogs get a second lease on life, wonderful care and purpose, and never go back to shelter environments. Dogs who don't make it through the full training program are placed in long-term care homes via qualified adoption (like our girl Jillaroo - now 12 years old!)
SDF staff and Board of Directors are dedicated and wonderful people.
The Fire Departments and other First Responders they provide dog partners to, and the only NotForProfit US Training Center facility, are ever grateful. While the Fire Fighters & Depts dedicate many hours to make these partnerships happen, no city or county funds are utilized. SDF covers the costs.
SDF's financial accountability is phenomenal (something we all should be checking when we donate to organizations).
Very simply, we are proud to be associated and support these brave canines and the Search Dog Foundation organization. Love you SDFers!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has been our charity for 20 years. There is no higher calling than supporting rescued dogs, first responders, and no better staff, than SDF. We love you!

MaryAnne Falcone M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing, life saving work by an amazing group of people and rescue canines. So proud to have this organization in our county.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NSDF is an amazing facility! The people behind the scenes all love what they do, and are passionate about the the mission. It’s beyond infectious, and what has kept me going back and volunteering the last 3.5 years...and I live 2hrs away. It’s my happy place!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's an honor to be a supporter of the National Search Dog Foundation. They rescue dogs from shelters, giving them a second chance in life. Then with the specialized training these dogs receive, they become an integral part of saving lives worldwide, in all types of disasters.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've know about the Search Dog Foundation since it's inception in 1996 and have followed it since then. I have now been volunteering for a few years so I see first-hand what they do. The dogs they rescue are then turned into rescuers! They are trained by the highly professional staff at SDF and then matched with a first responder (fireman/fire woman). The dog lives with its handler 24/7 and are always ready to be deployed to any disaster. These dogs just love to work. It's nice to know that if a disaster happens, these highly trained dogs and their handlers will be there for you!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love SDF! Working with all of their Volunteers is so rewarding!

Donor

Rating: 5

I was raising a potential Guide Dog for the Blind who was completely bored with Guide Dog training. Then the organization I was volunteering with dissolved unexpectedly and I was able to keep the dog. I knew that from the time he started getting bored with training that this was a dog who needed a job in order to be happy: preferably a very active and challenging job.

A person I met who did wilderness search and rescue suggested that I look into NDSDF. I did, and was amazed by the work that they did.

A short time later, Pluis Davern tested him and he started search Dog training. He became one of the wonderful Search Dog Foundation dogs: Icon.

Though his life was brief, he was so happy!

While I don't have much money to give, the Search Dog Foundation is my charity of choice. When I am able, I give what I can.

The work that they do is beyond amazing and what a contribution they make to our first responders and to the citizens of our nation. I cannot think of a cause or group that is more deserving of everyone's support.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became a donor after I saw a demonstration of a search dog in action at a court reporting convention in DC. What an amazing charity that saves lives on both ends of the spectrum!! I follow all of their stories on social media and proudly donate to this very worthy cause.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The National Search Dog Foundation's motto "from rescued to rescuer" tells it all. I am so grateful dogs that would most likely be euthanized or live in shelters for their entire lives are given meaningful jobs as search and rescue dogs. That's a win-win! In addition, any dogs that are rescued but don't make the cut are given forever homes with loving families. I am so impressed with this mission I've added a bequest to the foundation in my estate plan.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting this organization since September 2001.
Not only do they do great work helping people in all kinds of countries with disasters, but most of my donation goes to the work. Not into salaries. The most impressive thing, no matter how much l donate, everyone gets a personal phone call of thanks from a volunteer. My only regret, is l wish l lived closer so l could be a volunteer. I thank God for Wilma, the great lady behind NDSDF and for all the dogs and handlers helping those in need.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband & I have been donors to Nat'l Disaster Search Dog Foundation for many years. We love their mission; they provide a win-win in so many ways! First, they rescue dogs from shelters that may not be suitable for most people - high strung, active pups. Nothing wrong with these "wonder dogs" but just tough to place. The Search Dog Foundation takes these dogs and trains them to look for live people in disaster/critical situations. It's a rigorous program. Not all the pups graduate, but that's OK. They are placed in other training programs...the dogs are never returned to the shelter:)

After graduation, the dogs get placed with fire personnel - a team is then born! They are partners in all situations. Wherever there is a need worldwide, these teams are ready and able to help!

We have developed great friendships with the staff and with many of the teams. We currently are guardians of 4 teams and are so proud of all of them!

In conclusion, we LOVE this organization and its mission! IT's the BEST

Mary & Jeff Kroll
Fort Washington, PA

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about this group a few years ago when they became a client. I was so inspired by their mission and the fact that they turn rescues into life savers! The service these animals and their handlers provide throughout the world is priceless. I've followed the stories of their service and rescues. I can't wait to see their new facility and hope that they will continue to grow and train and save more rescues.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned of the Foundation at a court reporting convention in Las Vegas and have since genuinely enjoyed seeing their stellar work. I have 100% confidence that my donations go to a great organization.

snyderpata

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so happy to support this wonderful charity...it is MY FAVORITE! I have followed them for 5-6 years, and have sponsored a dog the last 2 years, and will sponsor another one this year, also! I love the idea that they obtain their candidate dogs from shelters, donated dogs or from no-kill organizations.....the dogs who prove suitable to become a Search & Rescue dog find their "new career", and are so happy with their new job! The trained dogs are donated to a Fire Department at the successful end of their 9 months training. Here are the 2 dogs I have sponsored in the last 2 years...Clancy and Merlin (shown with their wonderful firefighter handlers)!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my facorite charities!! Dogs are recruited from Rescues and strays, or abandoned animals. They are then trained for 9 months to the speciality of Search & Rescue.. If they pass the rigorous training program, then are then paired with a Firefighter, and donated to his/ her fire department! This is taking a discarded dog ( who would probably be euthanized), and giving them a full and rewarding life!! This is all funded with private donations....how much better could it be???

Review from Guidestar

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on the outside looking in for about 10 years now, watching it grow, get better and amaze me. This organization knows what it is doing and wants to do, to help the world when a National Disaster strikes. Not only do they rescue shelter dogs that no one wanted and turn them into life saving rescuers. If they are not right for the program, they find those dogs homes, never to be returned to a shelter.
The more teams trained, the more lives saved.

2 Kevin149

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Search Dog Foundation is one of the greatest organizations out there. They do such a necessary task in teaching these dogs the skills to help find people in an emergency. I love that the facility is so well equipped to help these dogs prepare for any type of situation. Thank you Irma you do an amazing thing and I hope you keep it up for a long time

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Search Dog Foundation is probably one of the best organization in the Country. First, all of their dogs are rescued from shelter, not bought from breeders. They then are trained and paired with a handler at great cost. Together a team will then be on-call to go anywhere in the world to help search for victims of all types of disasters.

1 Teresa91

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is s wonderful organization that needs our support.What would we do without then during times of crIsis. Thank you for all you do!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

National Disaster Search Dog foundation has inspired and expanded the future and the stigma of "pound" and rescue dogs, who will in return dedicate their lives to rescuing ours. Not only a win/win situation... but a save/save.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In April 1995 retired schoolteacher and gym coach Wilma Melville and her black Labrador Retriever search dog, Murphy, rushed to the site of the terrorist bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. At that time they were one of only 15 Advanced Certified disaster search dog-handler teams in the United States, and that glaring need made Melville determined to find a way to train highly skilled canine teams. So in 1996 she founded the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.
All of the search dogs are rescues, canines eager for a job and filled with untapped energy. The NDSDF works with dozens of shelters and breed rescue groups to place and train hundreds of dogs. The organization has deployed teams to respond to a wide range of disasters, from tornados and mudslides to building explosions and train derailments.
Working tirelessly for years the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has raised millions of dollars, with no government funding, to build the nation's first permanent national training center for search dogs on 125 acres in the Southern California foothills.
This is an incredible organization of selfless, lifesaving individuals performing a mission to save lives across the country and around the world.
For many years I was Senior Editor of DOG FANCY magazine, and during that time I spent time with many wonderful guide dog and rescue organizations, but no organization finer than the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation.

1 Pam_121

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for SDF, as well as a donor, I can attest to the fact that your donations actually go to the cause! They have a very small paid staff and the rest is volunteer based. Every donation, large and small, is acknowledged with a letter with a handwritten note. I write many of these notes so this is first hand knowledge. They get no governmental support; strictly donor supported. They rescue the dogs, train them, train the handlers and pair them together at no cost to the fire departments. All dogs rescued will go to a family if they don't complete training. They are never returned to a shelter once they are rescued.

Heather31

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization who's dedication to SAR dogs is monumental! What they do for the community in helping people is beyond incredible. I am inspired every day and only hope that as I train my SAR K9 I can meet some of these amazing people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a azide at how they train their team members! I'm from Canada but I follow on FB...inspiring people and canines all on these teams !

Becky101

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization! Having spent decades rescuing dogs then finding home and/or jobs for them, I know that there are so many dogs in shelters that could become working dogs yet few look to shelters. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has found a way to not only save dogs from shelters and pounds but then to match them with the perfect handler, train then, and then use them to help people far and wide.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc. is a fabulous organization that I have known about and followed since the tragedy of September 11th. No other agency that I'm aware of, saves hundreds of dogs destined to be euthanized at shelters, and rescues, trains them, and then pairs them with human rescue organizations that assist during tragic and horrific times. I feel more confident and secure knowing that that the NDSDF exists and will be ready to assist whenever needed. They deserve the utmost credit and appreciation. Thank you.