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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Secondhand Hounds

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: We rescue animals. We commit to our animals through adoption, rehabilitation and hospice care. We inspire change.

Results: Since our founding in 2009, we've found loving homes for over 16,085 dogs, cats and critters.

Target demographics: dogs and cats

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 2500 animals find forever homes

Geographic areas served: The Twin Cities and Midwest

Programs: fostering animals until adoption, working with medical needs through rehabilitation, and welcoming hospice animals to live their final days in a loving home

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

We adopted our dog from Secondhand Hounds, and the whole process was very professional and straightforward. We’re now donors and appreciate their transparency and dedication to their mission.

Liz J.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On Adoptions: My experience with Secondhand Hounds has been incredibly supportive and professional in many ways. I adopted both my two dogs from SHH over the past 3+ years (1 in 2015 and the other in 2017). Both processes were thorough, as I would expect, helpful, and overall positive.

On Volunteering: Because of my adoption experiences, I chose to also volunteer with SHH. As a volunteer I have come to see that SHH is also well run on most aspects as well as very supportive to volunteers. They’re dedicated to their mission and it shows in everything they do. It’s a dedicated group of volunteers and staff and they take feedback very seriously.

On Resources: One of the biggest things I think about when looking into rescues either to adopt from, donate to, volunteer with, or generally support otherwise, is how they use their resources. What’s special about SHH, is that they’re well connected and supported not only by individuals, but by businesses as well which is incredibly smart. Because of that, they’re able to do a lot that other rescues might not be able to do.

On Financial Health of the Organization: Furthermore, I more recently looked into SHH’s publicly available financial information and reporting. I found that they are very good at ensuring that donations, adoption fees, and etc. are spent on the program and the animals they rescue. Also, SHH’s very hardworking and relatively small paid staff aren’t taking in large salaries at all. I was actually shocked how little money was spent on staff. SHH is mostly, majorly, volunteer-based and that certainly helps, but it’s still very impressive. I can only expect the organization to continue to be even more efficient and effective at saving animals in the future.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted my dog from Secondhand Hounds and also volunteer with them. They are incredibly responsive and organized and their facility is designed with dog welfare and safety in mind. Highly recommend adopting and donating to them - they are amazing!

Lexi R.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted two AMAZING dogs from Secondhand Hounds! My first dog from SSH was a 1.5 year old Vizsla/Terrier/Lab mix that I named Toby. Toby had a difficult life before an amazing woman decided to foster him for SSH. He was tramatized from his experiences before he was fostered. However he was crate trained, potty trained, and full of unconditional love ❤️ It has taken time and love for this beautiful dog to come out of his shell. He is such a trooper!

I adopted his sister 3 months later. She was born in rescue. She has helped Toby out of his shell. There is never a dull moment with her. She is spunky, playful, and full of love! She might be small but sure doesn’t act like a typical small dog. She is not a barker(blessing!) and is very smart! She catches on so fast!

I plan on fostering a dog for SSH as soon as it is possible! They are a wonderful organization! They have all dogs best interest!

Laurie A.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We adopted our corgi from SHH in 2015 and it was a very good experience. Then in 2016 we started volunteering. SHH has hundreds of very dedicated volunteers who have helped save thousands of dogs and cats. Staff members are very professional. We consider SHH as family now.

Leuw K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Foster base dogs/cats shelter! Very well organized, dedicated volunteers, great community! There are so many things you can help the org -letout, take in, home visit, supply donation, foster, events volunteers, etc.

Kristi N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization! Very organized about everything!! Being a foster it’s so easy to see the dogs coming in and if you have any questions there is a team standing behind you to help at any time.

This little cutie got a forever home in three weeks! She was adorable!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Secondhand Hounds (SHH) is an amazing Twin Cities rescue organization. I started fostering three years ago when I heard about the organization through a friend. I have fostered 30 pups/kittens. It is such a rewarding experience, as you are truly make a difference and saving lives. SHH makes the experience easy by providing everything you need to foster- supplies and support! If you have some time and love to spare, I highly recommend fostering!

If you're not in the market to foster but want to add a dog or cat to your family, I also highly recommend this organization! They have steps in place to make sure it's a good fit for both the dog/cat and you, including a thorough application, meet and greet and a house visit! SHH has adopted out over 15,000 animals to loving homes and counting. They're changing the world one saved life at a time.

Pictured: Foster dog Bram (now adopted). Bram came from a high kill shelter in TX. He is now the center of attention for a MN couple and loving life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We rescued our baby about a year ago and could not be more thankful for all the work SHH did for our pup! He was sick and they covered all expenses for hunch to get better! Sara was so helpful in the transition for his to get better! He went from 2 to 32 pounds now! He just turned 1 and I still talk about how great the SHH team was! Defiantly recommend to help volunteer if possible, donate, or adopt a fur baby like we did and do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our sweet little cockapoo, Posey, from Secondhand Hounds a year ago and are so thankful for her every day. We had applied for quite a few pups, but people love SHH so much they were adopted before we ever set up meeting times. But lucky for us Posey ended up being our dream girl! Her foster was so wonderful and was so flexible with her time for us to do our meet and greet. They are honest about how much information they have on each animal, and it really felt like the fosters and staff were matching dogs and adopters based on their experience and lifestyles. Thank you so much to everyone at SHH!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Secondhand Hounds has truly changed my life! I’m a volunteer and foster mom and continue to be in awe over the amazing work they do. We’ve saved so many animals, many that come from unthinkable situations. My heart bursts with love for this organization!

Christina C.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When our family decided to foster dogs and cats, we didn't take the decision lightly. We talked to others, did our research and decided on Secondhand Hounds. We have never once regretted that decision! SHH has been there for us every step of the way! They are incredible at helping fosters and adopters succeed and the dedication to all of their programs come through in all they do! We have also adopted three times and have to say they have the whole process down to an art. They say yes when others would say no like with our 15 year old dog we adopted! Who else would say yes to bringing a senior with medical issues all the way up to Minnesota?! But bring her up they did and we were thrilled to adopt her and get two wonderful years with her! Our whole family is so proud to support the work of Secondhand Hounds!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering and fostering for Secondhand Hounds 6 years ago. They go above and beyond, prioritizing the best level of care for each animal. My favorite part of the organization is their Figter Fund program, where they are able to take on severe medical cases a lot of other rescues have to pass up. I'm beyond proud to play a small role.

Mary M.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted two little ones from this rescue. This rescue is amazing !! It is so important that these dogs and cats go to foster homes where they can learn to trust and love and just be around people. My first little one was named Hailey, I was only to have her for a little more than 2yrs, she had a heart condition. In those 2yrs she learned how to walk on a leash with her head held high. She loved walks and Kids and she very much wanted to be around all people. A short time after Hailey passed I found another little angel. Her name is Princess Ruby, she is also learning to be social and she kinda likes it. She is so sweet and we are learning things all the time. Little miss Ruby also has a heart condition but we are making every day an adventure. I am so grateful that I can make a difference in their lives I know they do mine. Mary Milleker

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I lost my dog Casey last January. That's when I started volunteering at Second Hand Hounds. It took me three months before I was ready to adopt again! I adopted Izzy and she has filled my heart! I continue to volunteer as I love this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Secondhand Hounds, and the way they run this organization, treat their clients and volunteers, and treat the animals is like no other organization that I’ve volunteered for. They are fabulous, caring, and work so hard to give every animal a chance at living the best life possible. The staff are great, the volunteers are great, and the animals are GREAT! This is hands down my favorite organization to volunteer for.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love the work they do, the animals they help love them also

Beth Anne T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My experience with Secondhand Hounds was amazing. Their mission is to place as many dogs as they can in safe and loving homes. Their commitment to rescuing dogs from high kill shelters has saved the lives of thousands of dogs and changed the lives of thousands of Minnesota families. They are positive, loving, and efficient! I recommend them to everyone I know who is considering adoption. This is my baby, Juno, rescued 3 years ago today!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Secondhand Hounds for all they do for the animals they take in, the fosters, volunteers - everyone has the dogs and cats best interest at hand. I have fostered several dogs and it's very rewarding. The President all the way down to the volunteers and in between are so helpful! These are a few of my foster dogs that I was honored to take care of until they went to their new homes/

Lindsey L.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a part of Secondhand Hounds is the thing I am most proud of in my life. Over the last 4 years I have had the pleasure of fostering over 200 dogs and cats for them. This has become a lifestyle for me and I could not be any more proud to be part of such a great organization. SHH takes in a lot of tough medical cases that noone else wants to deal with. They help dogs that other organizations dont have the ability to help and they do it with their army of volunteers. I have foster failed 3 times and would have done so more if I could. SHH doesn't give up on the dogs and cats we rescue. Even as I sit here I have a foster at the emergency vet fighting for her life and I know SHH is behind me and her 100%. This a fantastic organization run by fantastic people!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The whole organization is amazing! They not only find forever homes for pets, they reach out to the community in several ways. Their caring spans the whole community regardless if the individual has 2 or 4 legs, hair or fur or beautifully bald.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is without a doubt THE best non-profit that’s ive been involved with!!! The people that run this rescue eat, breathe, and sleep rescue and helping animals.

I NEVER question donating to them because I know that my money is being well spent. What really impressed me about them is how they walk the walk. For example, the font “dog discriminate”; they will rescue old dogs or dogs needing medical attention that a lot of rescues would put down. They even have a program called the Hospice Program that is specifically for elderly or terminally ill dogs to ensure that the rest of their days on earth are filled with happiness and love.

We fostered dogs, transport dogs, and do intake for SHH. We even ended up adopting one of our fosters from Shh :)

I really can’t say enough about them. I’ve gone to other rescues seeking help and provided them with guidance based on the ways Shh operates because they do things well.

The picture is of our adopted dog :)

Veronica45

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Secondhand Hounds is the reason I am involved in rescue! I foster failed on my very first puppy I brought home, and the entire process had me hooked. Since then, I had countless number of cats, dogs, puppies and kittens thru my house in 2 different states! I have directed many rescues to Secondhand Hounds as the rescue to emulate in order to become a successful, respected, and well run animal rescue! My girl Poppy was found at a garbage dump in South Dakota and brought to Minneapolis, directly into my heart!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I adopted Elmer in November of 2015. We could not have been more pleased with the whole process and how quick everyone was to answer any questions we had. We still keep in touch with the lady who fostered the litter of puppies and have used her as a resource for any questions we had as well. I grew up with animals my whole life, but adopting Elmer gave me a huge appreciation for rescues and all that goes into them. He has brought more joy into our lives than I can even explain and we are so greatful for Secondhand Hounds and helping us find the best puppy for our family! Any chance I get I always boast about Secondhand Hounds and always refer friends/family to them to find their fur babies!

Nicki K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adopted a dog from Secondhand Hounds in March 2016. They are such a great organization that I wanted to participate so now I volunteer doing home visits. I am impressed across the board by the level of quality and commitment demonstrated by SHH.

Jessica A.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the passion and professionalism that I have experienced with Secondhand Hounds! I am thrilled that I have decided to join them as a volunteer. Everything is coordinated nicely and you can tell that customer service is very important to them. I would highly recommend SHH to volunteer at, donate to, foster from or adopt from. Paws down!

Toni 'Wood' H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All of the employees and thousands of volunteers go above and beyond every single day to save lives. It changes the lives not only for those pets, but for each of them and the families they are able to complete with the animals they've rescued.

Lisa Cary Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our family has volunteered with Secondhand Hounds for over six years. It has been an amazing experience for our whole family. We have foster over 100 dogs and cats including four litters of dogs and one of cats born at our house for SHH. This has beeb a great learning experience for our daughters. SHH has provided for all of the physical and medical needs for the animals. We have been supported by SHH in our concerns for the animals as well as decisions we have made regarding the adoption of the animals. We have adopted two dogs through SHH. SHH made sure that the dogs were healthy, up to date on shots, neutered, and microchipped at adoption. Great agency to foster, adopt, and volunteer with!

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I'm experienced with rescue dogs. I've owned four rescue dogs and have never had a negative experience outside of challenging behaviors. I've fostered for Second Hand Hounds since June and have had 3 different foster pups. Initially, it was such an awesome and rewarding experience The second foster I got came to me with an ear infection, obvious skin wounds, and allergies. My third foster came home with horrible diarrhea and appeared underweight. I reported this to SHH and instead of having me bring him to the vet, they had me pick up meds for him. Within a few days, my own dog was sick with diarrhea and when I asked SHH's "vet" about this, they ignored me. I made the mistake of bringing my own dog to SHH's vet, Burnsville Parkway Vet, and they did not answer my questions about possible contagious disease or provide a diagnosis for my dog, though I paid $250 for her treatment and she is better now. Recently I requested that since I have to bring my foster in for a neuter, that SHH bring his preventative treatments so that I don't have to drive 30 minutes to pick them up, which is the usual practice. The staff were incredibly rude in their response to this request and complained that it would cost them $2 to send it. With the amount of time I've taken off from work, driving to and from vet appointments, to and from spay and an upcoming neuter appointment, picking up a midnight foster animals, shoes that have been chewed up, my own dog ill, driving to and from meet and greets and adoptions, I was stunned by their response. I asked them for information about their "non-profit" and staff pay as I have seen one too many "non-profits" that are really paying themselves hefty salaries, while relying on the charity of others. I called them "rude", "lacking in communication skills", and "stingy". They responded by calling me "combative" and threatening to remove my foster via animal control, the police, bringing me to court. My foster is due to be adopted next week. I will never foster or adopt from this organization again and I am so saddened by what was once a very positive experience turned very negative.
SHH sent two of their henchmen here to try to remove my foster. They banged on my door and windows and stood in my driveway staring into my windows trying to intimidate me. I told them repeatedly that they were trespassing and I was going to call the police. When the police arrived, they stood on my sidewalk and told me that they weren't leaving until I gave them the dog. I've violated no foster agreements other than questioning the organization's practices. I will not back down to intimidation and harassment.

Review from Guidestar

Tina113

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer and foster for this truly amazing organization for 4 years now. I've watched this rescue grow leaps and bounds and I'm so excited for what's to come. The work they do is second to none.

Brittany57

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SHH is the most well organized rescue I have ever worked with. It runs like a well oiled machine thanks to their staffs tireless hard work and dedicated volunteers. The facilities are spotless! Every effort and precaution is taken to ensure all animals have the best care, fosters and adoption possible! I am honored to be able to volunteer for Secondhand Hounds!

Jeni S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people are almost as awesome as the animals they rescue. They make adopting a thorough but easy process. The animals come from very diverse backgrounds, but are all treated like family the second they come in.

Susie24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with this passionate, authentic organization. Every volunteer and staff members strives to live out SecondHand Hound's mission, which is truly so unique. The amount of immediate and unwavering support I've received as a foster was overwhelming. I can't thank this awesome group enough for working so hard towards something I, too, care about so deeply.

Kyle39

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been volunteering and fostering with shh for about 5 years! We've had about 30 dogs and puppies go through our home and the rescue has been amazing with all their help. Can't tell you how many people they have helped let alone the 10,000 plus dogs and cats! We've foster failed on 2 dogs, Spanky (pitbull/whippet) and Bentley a special needs bulldog/beagle mix....I'd include a picture but I don't have any small enough!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved as a volunteer with Secondhand Hounds for the last year and a half. I help staff the office, support intake of animals, and do animal photography for their adoptable animals. The organization is amazing! They save animals in even the most dire of situations and have the most amazing staff....typically working their SHH role on top of other full time work. I can't say enough about the community of rescue they have created....saying yes as much as they possibly can! They have definitely changed my life for the better based on my involvement!! Kudos SHH!!

Alanna N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer for SHH and adopted one of my dogs there. My experience on both sides has been amazing. The staff and volunteers are dedicated, organized, and provide great service. Fosters take amazing care of their animals and ensure a good match with adopters. I'd highly recommend adopting from this rescue and becoming involved as a volunteer!

Sara150

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been working with SHH for about five years. The way that the different programs work, and the amount of organization that comes from each coordinator is amazing. I've adopted and fostered and it's become a lifestyle

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working with SHH since Rachel founded it in 2009. The amount of support and growth we have seen is incredible, and we are literally saving animals from being euthanized. There are so many ways to get involved. I have met so many amazing people through rescue that I now call my friends :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have NEVER met a group that is more passionate about their animals and finding them proper care, love and "furever" homes!! They put the Can-DO in everything they touch. The workers are well- guided and so caring. It's Clean, It's organized, and they get a lot of things done!! I totally support them!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We started volunteering in early 2010 and made fostering dogs a family affair. We have adopted 2 animals from SHH (cat & dog) and they have become each other's best friends! Secondhand Hounds is a smartly run organization that we have always proud to be a part of!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started fostering with Secondhand Hounds a little over two years ago. When I started, I thought I would just try it and save one dog. Well Secondhand Hounds made the experience SO easy and enjoyable that I have fostered 12 dogs and 9 kittens so far. I'm so happy that I can make a difference for these deserving animals. It certainly takes a village to make it happen! Lots of volunteer opportunities- I would recommend this organization to any animal lover that is looking for an opportunity to get involved in the rescue community!

SpinArtFocus

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Home Visit Volunteer for Secondhand Hounds. I love having a role in the adoption process, completing the final step for approval. I truly enjoy meeting families committed to welcoming rescued animals into their lives.
Secondhand Hounds has continued to build an organization that answers many needs. Over time, I have seen SHH rally forces on behalf of urgent medical cases, special needs categories, foster recruitment and so much more.

Just one example of what the Secondhand Hounds community is capable of....

The effort to raise big $$$$ to buy bulldogs at auction last year was truly amazing. Getting the word out, scrambling to put the logistics in place in a very short time -- so many caring people at the edge of our seats as we waited for updates on facebook. Folks invested in any way they could - a giant network of prayer, support, donations - to see those angels brought to safety and into a loving, healing life.

My volunteerism with SHH has opened me to new, bigger dreams and goals for my own future. Advocacy is my purpose.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have adopted one dog through Secondhand Hounds. Our dog had some medical issues which we were aware of prior to adoption. The dog has blossomed into a wonderful family pet. The adoption process was thorough and efficient. The dog arrived fully vetted and SHH was able to answer all questions regarding our dog. I would not hesitate to adopt from SHH and have recommended SHH to many others.

1 Andrea146

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Secondhand Hounds (SHH) is foster based animal rescue that is very well run. I'm a current foster and volunteer and love SHH. All vetting and supplies are provided by SHH to care for the fosters, making the process super smooth. There are also soooo many excellent people involved that are always willing to help troubleshoot any situations. End goal is always to find the best match for the animal and their furever home!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a volunteer and client served with Secondhand Hounds. I see up close and personal how much blood sweat and tears (literally) the staff put into rescuing these animals. SHH doesn't take just the easy animals, they take the difficult ones as well, ones with health issues, seniors, so called aggressive breeds, and even hospice cases. Without SHH I would never have found my Gloria and who knows if she would have made it out of a shelter.

Review from Guidestar

4 Andrea118

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Secondhand Hounds regularly goes above and beyond for animals that would otherwise not have a chance, from rescuing misunderstood breeds, animals that have come from abusive or neglectful situations, and animals with serious medical needs that other rescues might not be willing or able to accept. Its network of volunteers works tirelessly to provide the best veterinary care and foster homes, and to re-home each animal in a loving adoptive home. The organization also goes out of its way to ensure each animal that comes through the rescue is cared for for life, allowing adopters to return SHH animals if they are no longer able to care for them. This is something that I believe makes Secondhand Hounds truly unique and special in the rescue community.

5 David274

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe and stand by the work that Secondhand Hounds does, which has saved over 6,000 animals to date. It is not an easy process or job, but as a volunteer I have seen the heart of the staff, volunteers, fosters, and supports. They are trying to do the best they can to find each animal a great home. SHH has a process that ensures no rush decisions are made and that the foster homes decide which is the best home as they know the animal best out of anyone, even though as a foster I can say it is not always easy to say no to one family when you have a choice to make. There is no magic equation or guidebook to making this decision, but it is one made out of love and compassion for the animal that was saved.

5

Client Served

Rating: 1

I'm convinced the work SHH is doing to save the lives of animals is to be honored and applauded however we found the process to adopt a dog to be huge disappointment. We had been researching breeders for a specific type of dog and stumbled upon the SHH website where there was a new adoptable dog that was exactly what we were looking for. We applied and contacted the foster family immediately to schedule a meet and greet. A full week and 60 miles later we met with them at their home, and made an immediate connection with both the foster family and the dog. We learned there were four other families being interviewed and the criteria for making a decision was solely in their hands based on what they feel is best. In the end, the dog was awarded to another family and we were left wondering why we were not selected. I wonder how a foster family is so confident in knowing what is best for a dog they have only had for less than two weeks. I cannot imagine the thought of being interviewed over and over again for our ability to provide a loving home for an animal that needs one. I would not recommend Secondhand Hounds or this process to anyone looking for a companion unless you’re willing to make many attempts to adopt and can live with this type of disenchantment.

Review from Guidestar