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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

CONSERVATION CANINES - University of Washington Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: To distinguish between multiple, concurrent pressures facing wildlife over a large geographic range. The Conservation Canines program addresses this need by combining the precision and efficiency of detection dogs to readily locate wildlife scat samples with the ability to extract a wide variety of genetic and physiological indicators from scat. These indicators provide information about species abundance, distribution, resource use, and physiological health all in relation to the environmental pressure(s) the species is encountering. Scat detection dogs are able to locate samples from multiple species simultaneously across large, remote areas and have a lower bias compared to traditional wildlife detection methods. No other method can acquire such a vast amount of reliable information in so short a time, making this approach incredibly valuable for conservation and management planners.

Results: We've trained our dogs to locate over 35 different species and we are just getting started!

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Kathy295

Client Served

Rating: 5

In northeastern Washington 1,400 K-12 rural underserved students at 11 schools played ball with the CK9s in 2016. After one demonstration a 6th grade girl told her teacher that she now didn't know what kind of scientist she wanted to be. The teacher shared that this is the kind of dilemma that she wants for her students. Scat detection rescued shelter dogs + kids+ real wildlife conservation projects in our backyard + science + GPS technology + career role models = Engaging our future stewards of earth & its critters! The CK9s present acton-filled participatory outreach programs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Conservation Canines is made up of a small, but hardworking and dedicated staff. I had the opportunity to volunteer for a short time and found that the everyone was very friendly and extremely hardworking. All the dogs were well cared for and excellent at their job. Conservation Canines does a fantastic job at providing biologists with a great way of conducting all kinds of wildlife surveys and giving amazing dogs a much needed job.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As conservation biologist, I have always been passionate about protecting wildlife and minimizing human impacts on study species. As a volunteer with Conservation Canines I was able to aid in projects that fulfilled both of these goals all the while working with hard-to-home rescue dogs.

By using high-drive detection dogs to locate scat and other samples, long after a target species has left the area, these folks are able to contribute amazing amounts of detailed data to further the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Currently they are even working to create a genetic map of pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal, to help put a stop to poaching and trade!

As if this weren’t enough Conservation Canines also works hard to provided education outreach to rural schools to expose children to conservation career choices and to broaden their views on protecting the world around them. The layers of great work seem to go on and on! The incredibly passionate people that help with this program, and the dogs, deserve all of the best support and Greatest NonProfit status!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a professional wildlife biologist and always concerned about the impacts of human activities on wildlife and the environment. But, I think we forget the impacts we biologists cause during our studies! I'm also a volunteer at my local dog and cat rescue and believe every dog deserves a chance.

CK9 is the best of all worlds. They are doing critical research while using non-invasive methods while ALSO rescuing hard-to-home dogs. I mean, does it get better than that? It's win-win-WIN. Saving dogs' lives, saving wildlife, doing sound science. I just can't say enough about how awesome this organization is and how everyone should strive for the triple win they've achieved.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After 7 years of experience in wildlife ecology, one of the biggest problems I see with the way research is conventionally done is the impact scientists themselves have on the wildlife they are trying to conserve. When I found Conservation Canines, I was amazed at their commitment to non-invasive research techniques that produce even better data than more traditional methods. I had the pleasure of volunteering two years in a row, seeing the dogs in action and even doing a little training myself. The dogs consistently blew me away with their skills, even straight out of the shelter almost instantly catching on (with the help of experienced trainers, of course). Not only does Conservation Canines save the dogs themselves, but the dogs help save a huge variety of wildlife species with better, more efficient and less invasive data collection than mere humans are capable of.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program has completely changed my life! The staff and canines at CK9 work around the clock and are the most dedicated crew I have ever gotten to work with. They have devoted their lives to making a difference and they have done some amazing work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is great for so many reasons. The scat-detection dogs used in their data collection are mostly rescued from animal shelters and pounds where they might have been euthanized otherwise. The method (scat- detection) is non-invasive - it has no harmful effect on the subject animals being studied. It is helping to learn the causes of decline, and the ways to save, endangered or threatened species. At the home facility they even compost the dog poop produced, minimizing impacts on the local landfill and waterways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for CK9 has been an amazing experience. Working on the Southern Resident Killer Whale project on the San Juan Islands has shown me the powerful ability of a working dog to effectively locate scat in adverse conditions, and how hard work by these dogs and their incredibly talented handlers turns into results that aid conservation biology efforts. The teams are very well educated in the biological, social, and political issues that impact the species-at-risk, and the non-invasive methods and high appeal of the working dogs is a great way to promote and educate the public on recovery efforts and ethically responsible conservation biology. The fact that rescue dogs are given a home and a lifestyle that suits their energy level is an added benefit to an already amazing program. I can attest first-hand to the difference it makes in the lives of the dogs, who live for the reward that follows finding scat and for the chance to play with their handler, who becomes their partner and friend. The work being done by Conservation Canines is important for habitat-scale management of threatened species, and also at the personal level for the canines and biologists that partner to do this intense, high-risk and high-reward work consistently throughout the year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Conservation Canines is an incredible non-profit that can achieve environmental goals that others can only begin to imagine. Using scat detection dogs for non-invasive wildlife research has real impacts on saving endangered wildlife worldwide, and it is achieved by hard-work and passion by the CK9-ers. I have had the chance to work as biologist on CK9's southern resident killer whale project and I am consistently impressed with their professionalism and dedication to the field of conservation biology. Handlers interactions with their dogs is inspirational and it is obvious that the dogs love what they do. I have never met happier dogs! Living with these dogs, I can attest that they are difficult for the average owner to keep up with, but it can be incredible to see the dogs given the chance to excel. Conservation Canines is a unique non-profit in its ability to impact environmental change on a global scale, and impact the lives of dogs by giving them a second chance. I cannot recommend this non-profit enough.

Kelsey5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with Conservation Canines (CK-9) in the field as a summer intern. it was such a great experience to work with such a wonderful organization. The dog handlers are so dedicated and passionate about their work. They will be up until 2am filling in data and making plans so that samples won't be missed the next day. Whether they are working in the blazing sun battling sun burns, or making a trail in 5 feet of snow, they keep up a great attitude. The goals of the projects are all conservation focused and obtain results like no other sampling methods allow for. Everything about CK-9 is admirable from the dogs to the staff and should be supported for future research projects to utilize.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great group of people and dogs, amazing to watch as they work. It's really wonderful how much they can do to advance the research which aids in the preservation of our planet's wildlife, all with little or no interaction with the actual wildlife.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working alongside many of the remarkably dedicated canines and their handlers in the northern Appalachian Mountains and the Canadian Rockies is one of the most memorial experiences of my life. The excitement these dogs project while working in the field is matched only be their exceptionable ability. What better way to help the world's wildlife than a method that has so little interaction with the animals. This is one of the best homes in the world for any dog with a desire to play fetch and be active. My wife and I raised our yellow lab from 4 weeks old until he was almost 4 years old. When we decided he was too hyper to be around our new baby girl, there was no choice in our minds where he would be the happiest. I am immensely proud that my loving and wonderful dog has become a Conservation Canine.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Conservation Canines is a great program with a big heart. Most of that heart comes from the energetic dogs who love what they do and the handlers who get the privilege to work along side of them. From homeless to heroes, these dogs are making field research more scientifically rewarding and less invasive for the wildlife we are trying to save.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Conservation Canine program provides the world with one of the
most excellent non invasive methods of species detection. I feel that
through my personal experience, I have grown as an individual coming
to appreciate the value of life along with the impact humans have on
the world. I find it incredible that not only does this program
utilize their skills to save the lives of endangered wildlife, but to
save the lives of our canine companions. These people, and these dogs
have truly had one of the most positive and profound impacts on my
life. Keep up the great work!