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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

2 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.


Rating: 5

I came across this group while browsing environmental studies run by colleges. It seemed so "duh" to me I couldn't resist learning more about it, and once I did I was near tears at how amazing this program is. This is more than just your typical "support dogs who need homes" non-profit, this is a smart non-profit, set up because there was an objective by the University of Washington that they couldn't fulfill on their own, so they looked for alternatives. This non-profit is a perfect example of the type of thinking we need for the future! Using the resources and systems we already have in place to make improvements in other areas. And what kind of freak doesn't love dogs?


Rating: 5

The Conservation Canines are the heart of The Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington. Deemed unsuitable pets for family homes, these high-energy rescued shelter dogs more than earn their stripes by detecting threatened and endangered wildlife scat around the globe with their dedicated handlers. One celebrated Conservation Canine, Tucker, detects orca scat on inland waters of the Salish Sea. Tucker's amazing nose can find orca scat one nautical mile away! He and new orca scat dog, Waylon, are helping researchers gather critical clues to the decline of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) due to boat traffic and noise, food shortage and chemical pollutants.