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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Speak For The Unspoken

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Our motto is special needs, good deeds. We see possibilities, not disabilities. We adopted our motto "special needs and good deeds" to incorporate all of the animals outside of the 'special needs' category that we are able to help. We are a foster based rescue so all of the animals in our program are living and cared for in a loving home. #impairedwhocares #deafblindandbrilliant #adoptdontshop #deafdogsrock

Results: Since our inception in 2012, we have rescued over 1,000 dogs and cats, most of them either special needs, or dogs that have been dumped from puppy mills. We work to educate the public about inappropriate breeding practices that result in blind and deaf Double Merle dogs.

Target demographics: rescue pets with special needs

Direct beneficiaries per year: by taking in over 300 dogs and finding homes for over 250 of them!

Geographic areas served: central Ohio and and areas beyond

Programs: education on inappropriate breeding practices that result in double merle dogs

Community Stories

73 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Milia Dick Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This rescue team of incredibly devoted people is just fabulous!! My daughter got her dog Sicily from there, and I was so impressed that I asked to become a volunteer. Living in Cincy, I'm pretty limited with what I can do, but if I'm able to do something for them, I'm on board

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our Nessie about two months ago. From the moment we saw her sweet face, it felt like she was meant to be part of our family. She immediately clicked with our other dog and was the perfect addition to complete our family. From start to finish, Speak for the Unspoken was a wonderful organization to work with. We are so grateful that they were able to rescue Nessie and transport her across multiple states to end up here. Most importantly, Speak's genuine care for the dog's welfare is infused in everything they do. Thanks to her wonderful foster family, Nessie came to us from a loving home full of joy and ready to transition successfully to a new family. I also felt as confident as you possibly can that Nessie was the right fit for our family thanks to the adoption process. And while we haven't needed any additional assistance or resources from Speak, we were assured as part of the process that if we did need assistance or had questions after adopting, Speak would be there to help us. We are members of their adoptive families group on Facebook and have so enjoyed getting to see the wonderful stories of the many, many dogs Speak has helped.

Kaye S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such an amazing group of people that take such good care of the dogs they place. I have three Speak alumni and love them so much!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Speak for the Unspoken but have also adopted three dogs from the group. I'm attaching my latest fosters picture that waiting for a forever home. Her name is Willow. Speak is an amazing group to volunteer for and takes excellent care of all the dogs (and a couple cats) in their care. I have worked with many rescues but found myself "home" with Speak. ❤

Carol Ruddy S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I start following Speak for the unspoken in 2014. I adopted Eloise a double Merle Australian Shepard in April 2015. Eloise is sight impaired and I am her second family. Her first family turned her back in to Speaks because they could no longer provide for her. Knowing if something was to happen to me she will be taken care of brings such peace to me. Speaks is such an amazing group

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We just started fostering with Speak! Absolutely 6months ago and we are absolutely in love with the organization! Everyone involved is so passionate about helping these beautiful creatures and helping them live their most full and happy life. We even adopted one of these sweet dogs with so much support and love from everyone in the organization.

Jessica E.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Speak is such an amazing group! We already had a Great Dane, but decided she needed a buddy. We applied for a pup we thought would fit well with her. Unfortunately, it had already been adopted. However, Speak's staff reached out to help us find another dog. We were able to foster to adopt. During that time, our boy fell ill with kennel cough. Given my crazy work schedule, I was unable to get him to the vet during one of the available times. One of their volunteers drove to my house to pick him up and take him themselves! They definitely go above and beyond! I have read countless stories of the dogs with disabilities that they do even more for! They save these pups from awful situations and often times take on cases that seem to be impossible. Not many rescues would be able or willing to take on the financial responsibility for these dogs. There are many dogs alive today because of Speak!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an awesome group. They save so many dogs from deplorable living conditions, dogs with special needs or broken limbs, etc. The volunteers are trained to work with blind and deaf dogs. The have special events in the community where they showcase the dogs that have been rescued and rehabbed. I received Shorty a 3 year old male Aussie thru Speak for the Unspoken

Carol Gabbard M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Speak is a phenomenal agency. I have volunteered for numerous agencies over the years and Speak is set apart because they put the animal’s welfare 1st. Recently they rescued a 10-year male dog who had been sorely neglected and never vetted. He was stiff and achy but still a gentleman. They arranged to board him at a local kennel until they could arrange transport. Once he was with his foster they had him vetted. He had to have 13 teeth extracted, growths around his eyes removed and of course he was fixed. He was anxious, miserable and uncomfortable inside the foster home. A call went out for a doghouse to see if they could reduce his anxiety. After it appeared, smart and handsome Max decided that he liked it better inside his foster home near the back door. This fine old fellow would have perished if taken to a shelter. Now he will get a few good years to charm a family and add loving value to their lives because of Speak.

Danna N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Lil Bit from Speak for the Unspoken. They are an amazing organization. They gave him such amazing medical care (he sadly needed a leg amputation) and he was in such a loving foster home. Their review process for potential adopters was thorough and you could really tell they care about their pups. Lil Bit is an amazing dog and I'm so grateful with how well he was taken care of.

Lisa Stone M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted our girl Maisie 4 years ago. She was rescued by Speak when the breeder was going to dispose of this beauty with a cleft pallet. Her pallet repaired, mega esophagus manageable, and bouts of pneumonia behind her ... this girl brings joy to everyone who meets her. Speak for the Unspoken ROCKS!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Maisie was born with a cleft pallet and was a breeder surrender saved as a pup by Speak for the Unspoken. Her cleft pallet was repaired but she still has mega esophagus (we almost lost her at four months due to pneumonia ). She''s thriving, and while small in size for a Bullmastiff, she's one of the sweetest dogs. We can't imagine life without her!

Eliza W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Tucker, a deaf and blind catahoula from Speak in January, and he is a wonderful pup.
Many deaf and blind dogs are tossed by breeders or owners, but Speak is committed to finding the best homes for these dogs. Not only do they do a lot of work getting the word out about their available dogs, once they are adopted the Speak community is very helpful when questions arise.
Speak pointed me to a great place for training so Tucker and I could learn to communicate and be a successful pair. They have also created an adoptive families Facebook page where we can share the joy of having our dogs with other speak families and fosters, but it is also a place to ask questions to other Speak families and fosters.
When I was looking for a dog sibling to join Tucker Speak was willing to help find a sibling within their rescue then as well.
Speak does loving, compassionate work with dogs who greatly need it and would not do well in shelters. Beyond finding homes for deaf and blind dogs they do education at their adoption events about double merles, as well as how having a deaf or blind dog (or deaf and blind) is less daunting than one might think.

Darlene S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a volunteer foster for Speak For the Unspoken, my love of Australian Shepherds drew me to help. I’ve been totally amazed at the length that they go to , to help these dogs. From other foster homes ( the people are wonderful) , to transports , to medical care , and the great homes they end up finding for our dogs and puppies ...the care and love never ends .

1 Kathy V.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a very positive experience with this rescue group. They were extremely supportive and made the transition from rescue to adoption seamless. My dog Louise formerly Clarise was crate trained by the foster family. They also were available for any questions and were very supportive!!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I had such a great experience with everyone from Speak. I adopted Louise (Clarise) two months ago. Louise’s foster mom , Kim was amazing. She crate trained Louise before I adopted her which made for a smooth transition into my home. I have nothing but great things to say about this rescue group. I am so in love with my new pup!!

1 Krystal K.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I sent in an application for a blind puppy after weeks of wondering if I was ready. I waited too long. After my application got approved the foster home told me she had already been adopted.
But the rescue was so nice and they would send my application to another foster home for me when I asked. Instead of going through the process all over again.
So i got my puppy, a double merle aussie. And they were so nice and they care about every dog they have.

1 Lila A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Speak For The Unspoken has helped pull special needs dogs in my area. These dogs were in high kill shelters and needed a miracle. That miracle came in the form of several dedicated volunteers, fosters, and transporters who stepped up each time they are called upon!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I do transports for Speak and am SO proud to be a part of this wonderful organization! Everyone I have come in contact with puts their whole heart and soul into these very special rescues. I'm 3 hours away from Grove City but wish I lived closer as I would certainly donate more of my time to this amazing cause!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved with many dog rescues for the past 15 years. I can say without hesitation that Speak! For the Unspoken is the real deal. They will pull dogs from dire situations who would otherwise be left behind.
I attend many rescue events and am always meeting former Speak ! dogs who have been adopted and given a new leash on life. They have a large base of volunteers who are passionate about saving dogs who may be a bit different..but nonetheless deserve a safe loving home.
I can’t say enough about this wonderful rescue and try to support them in anyway I can.
Ilene Smith
Dublin Ohio

1 Alex P.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Speak! For the Unspoken alumni Lennie (deaf and blind lab) and Lula (double Merle Aussie). Any organization is only as good as its people, and Speak! has the best people. Thank you for all you do! #impairedwhocares #adoptdontshop #stoppuppymills

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Client Served

Rating: 5

Lula and Lennie came to us from Speak! a couple of years ago. What an awesome organization!

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1 Marnie Pisarcik S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are so thankful for the people at Speak for pairing us up with our beautiful baby Juniper. What a wonderful organization! They are so helpful and knowledgeable about these special pups.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful group of people! I wasn’t even looking for a new dog, but I saw a post by Speak for the Unspoken and instantly fell in love with a mini Dachsund that was both deaf and blind. I had to have her! The adoption process was extremely simple and the foster was so good to this baby girl. My Juniper doesn’t know she’s any different than my other two dogs. She fits right in with our family. ‘Speak’ gives a voice to these deaf/blind babies to say that they are every bit as lovable as any other pet. So thankful for my girl and for Speak bringing us together!

1 Abby S.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first moved to Columbus, I was looking for volunteer opportunities. I heard about a dog rescue that catered to dogs with disabilities. After volunteering at my first event, I began fostering a deaf and blind Australian Shepherd mix. He was just like any other dog. He liked to play and cuddle. He learned the setup of my house in only a few days. I learned so much about double merles, and was able to find the perfect home for sweet Charley.

In January of the following year, I was paired with an ill chihuahua. Through this dog, I truly learned about Speak for the Unspoken. The rescue invested in this sweet boy and made sure he had all of the necessary care.

I later came to learn that all rescues are not created equal. Once Speak takes a dog, it fully financially backs that dog. Whatever might be wrong, Speak will spend the money in order to give the dog the greatest opportunity for its best life.

I've continued to work with Speak over the past 5 years. They have grown in so many ways. Their volunteer team is like no other. They have stuck to their core values of maintaining a home-based fostering system, meaning no dog is left in a cage. Every dog receives training in someone's home.

Speak performs a thorough background review in order to ensure that each pet is placed with a responsible owner.

This rescue is a class act.

2 Elliot W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Speak for the Unspoken is such an amazing rescue group, full of dedicated and compassionate volunteers with the same common goal of saving dogs most in need! When we heard about Speak we were drawn to the mission and their love for deaf and blind dogs(as we already had a deaf dog of our own). Working with this incredible group has given us so much joy and sense of purpose that I never imagined it would. We also adopted one of our fosters, Sloane along the way and without Speak we would not have her in our lives! We love our Speak family!

1 Carine B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering for Speak for the Unspoken for a couple of years now and the people we have met are nothing short of amazing. Rescuing animals is not an easy job but it is definitely a rewarding one.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been fostering for almost a year with this rescue and the work done by this team is amazing! I’ve found my passion and a whole lot of wonderful people who share it. Thanks Speak!!

1 Dan B.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Speak! is an amazing experience for our family. We try to help several rescues, but after finding a deaf Catahoula at the shelter and rescuing her and her brother, we got hooked on helping special needs pups. We hear the phrase 'Who Saved Who?' a lot in this field, but meeting the pups that pass through from horrible conditions to loving families is really the best reward a person can ask for. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to work with, they are all so dedicated to making lives better for the pups that they rescue.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I dont even know where to start with Speak! The few people we have had the pleasure of working with are nothing short of amazing. The amount of love, passion, and knowledge that runs through this rescue is unbelievable. We adopted Gussy, a double merle Great Dane, from Speak! and his foster family will always hold a special place in my heart. They are two of the most incredible people I have ever met. ❤️

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had no intentions of adding a fourth dog to our family and we’re just going to “look” at the meet-and-As we were leaving Helen(formerly Mocha) walked in with her foster mom. We fell in love instantly(that’s the picture of me holding her the first time we met her) and ended up with a fourth dog! People ask how is it having a deaf and blind dog. I tell them she is like any other dog and we were so lucky to have her! I am so glad we found Speak because they are AMAZING! All the people at Speak care so much for these dogs and making sure they have a great life. Thank you for everything you do!

1 Natalie L.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted two aussies from Speak this past summer. Loki is deaf and Blu is deaf and blind in one eye. They have been such a joy to have in our family and Speak does such a great job with finding great homes for very special dogs. We are so glad we found this organization and these pups!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We can’t thank Speak enough for our wonderful boy Bruno. We are first time dog owners and they matched the perfect boy for our family. He just adores his human 3 year old sister. Thank you Speak for brininging Bruno to us!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Violet came from a puppy mill and after eight years her rescuers from speak for the unspoken came to her rescue and my first foster . She needed patience and love and thanks for speak for the unspoken and all there support she found her forever home with us . She is smart she is kind she is a special girl and she is safe because of speak for the unspoken. Thank you speak for the unspoken.

1 Alli W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Speak for the Unspoken rescued Cooper (formerly Paddy) from an unscrupulous breeder who dumped him because he thought he was blind; he’s not. The foster family provided him with much love and training and, lucky us, we were chosen for his forever home. We’ll be eternally grateful for this as he’s simply the best dog. . .ever and we can’t imagine our house without him.

ctidd

Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Freckles (formerly Booker ) last summer (2017 ). He is deaf but he can see. He is such a wonderful boy. He fits in great with my other two rescued boys. Thank you!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I adopted Freckles this past summer. He is so precious! Sometimes he thinks he is a cat! Lol. Such a wonderful organization!

2 Jennifer A.7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Speak! for the Unspoken is hands down the absolute best. I can't say enough great things about them. Lilleigh was saved from a hoarding situation in Texas. She was born blind but that doesn't stop her, she is absolutely brilliant. She learned our entire house and backyard in a matter of minutes,went to work at OSU vet hospital every day and loves everyone. Sky dogs is a special needs training facility that Speak! recommends and Allyson does such an amazing job. Levi came from an amish puppy mill and was going to be euthanized because he needed minor eye surgery. He is the happiest little guy I've ever met in my life. His tail NEVER stops wagging. He makes any and every bad day better instantly. We will forever be soo grateful.

1 Angie J.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just celebrated Remington’s “gotcha day”! He’s been our sweet little bubby for three years, and I can’t imagine life without him! He brings so much laughter to our day. I’m so thankful for the part the Speak played in bringing him to us! He has his issues, but he is perfect to us!

Darcy S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Sky almost 2 years ago from Speak and it was the best decision ever! Being deaf makes us love her more! She is the dog that all future dogs will be judged on. I wish we were closer to volunteer but I do spread the word of how special Speak and the dogs they help are.

JL B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have worked with this rescue for several years now and have even had the pleasure to adopt from them, they are truly an amazing group of volunteers and have touched so many lives. They truly are a work of art with what they can do with an all volunteer staff. Our little guy is amazing

Kerry A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is Fi and Darby, both were adopted from speak almost 2 years apart. Both are deaf and Fi is also mostly blind. Both are living their best lives and are bffs for life