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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: To rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded breeding dogs and to educate the general public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry. National Mill Dog Rescue was established in February 2007, in honor of a forgiving little Italian Greyhound named Lily. Theresa Strader, NMDR’s Founder, rescued Lily from a dog auction in Missouri. Prior to that day, Lily had spent the first seven years of her life as a commercial breeding dog, a puppy mill mom. Determined that her years of living in misery would not be in vain, Strader started NMDR, giving a voice to mill dogs across the country.

Results: As of May 2016 National Mill Dog Rescue has saved 10,727 puppy mill survivors.

Target demographics: the puppy mill dogs and to educate the public about the cruel reality of the puppy mill industry.

Geographic areas served: We work to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome discarded commercial breeding dogs

Programs: Rescue Program Veterinary Care Program Animal Care & Rehabilitation Program Adoptions Program Education & Outreach Program

Community Stories

115 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have worked for several nonprofit organizations during the past twenty years and am very knowledgeable about nonprofit operations. That said, I began volunteering for NMDR in 2011 and have been deeply impressed by the passion and personal commitment of those involved. The organization is run almost entirely by a huge volunteer workforce, so contributions go straight toward saving dogs. Many dogs arrive at NMDR with life-threatening medical conditions, severe malnutrition, and other signs of abuse. If the organization is sometimes overly cautious about the homes the dogs are placed in, I do understand. I've been very impressed with the people I've met through NMDR and their generosity, kindness, and commitment. In short, a great organization!

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 1

I volunteered at Mill Dog for over a year. At the time they hadn't been in their current building long, so many of the problems I saw immediately I figured would improve once they settled in and got procedures in place. Well, nothing changed in the year I was there. Theresa Strader has said many times she wants nothing to do with running the kennel, she just wants to rescue dogs. That is blatantly evident if you spend any time there at all. The problem with that is, getting the dogs out of the mills is one thing, but they need a lot of rehab that they are not getting from NMDR. In fact, many of the dogs have more issues after they're "rescued" because of the improper treatment in the NMDR kennels. They have a revolving door of volunteers because so many get discouraged and leave, so there is no consistency in the care of the dogs. They do not get the proper medications because every day someone different does it. The place is disgustingly dirty. No money has been put into the kennel unless it's done by volunteers. I frankly don't know where all the donations go - except to take people to lunch on the NMDR credit card. Dozens of dogs in their foster program have been lost due to poor bookkeeping. Mice get into the food that is stored there. Blue Buffalo donated a year's worth of food to them and after a few months they were asking supporters for more. Why? Because people were taking it home! Rather than buy a commercial washer, they cry to supporters, who donate home units and they use them until they break down. Supporters donate food, cleaning supplies, linens, leashes, and more. Where does all the money that is donated go? I'd really like to know. Oh, yes, and they've alienated many of the vets in the area because they don't pay their bills. You might see pictures of Theresa cuddling a dog in various press releases. In the year and more that I was there, I NEVER saw her do that. It seems to only happen when there is a camera involved. It's my opinion that all Theresa cares about is getting that number up (the number of dogs she's rescued) and she really doesn't care what happens to them afterwards. All the publicity has definitely gone to her head and I have no doubt there is a significant problem with abuse of monetary donations.

Review from Guidestar