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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Emergency Medical Services & Transport, Health, Search & Rescue Squads

Mission: Our mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by producing highly skilled Canine-Firefighter Disaster Search Teams to search for victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. We are the only organization in the U.S. that recruits rescued dogs, gives them ongoing professional training, and partners them with firefighters and other first responders at no cost to their departments.

Programs: Produce dogs trained in search and rescue with fire fighter handlers directly influencing how disaster search dogs are trained nationally.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I primarily volunteer as a photographer for SDF. I have worked with them for more than five years. When I first started, they and their mission were still relatively unknown. It has been my privelege to see them grow to national attention when Search Dogs they have rescued and trained, with their handlers, have shown their true worth when deployed to local as well as international disasters, such as the Haiti earthquake and Japan quake and tsunami. I know many of the dogs and handlers personally, and most of the staff as well, having worked with them at many of the events. I have never know such a dedicated, hardworking group of individuals. It is so gratifying to see them get the recognition they have earned. This organization deserves everyone's thanks and gratitude. You or I could be the next one they save.

Review from CharityNavigator

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have admired the work the NDSDF does since I first heard of them after 9/11. I wanted to be involved with this organization, so gave them my resume in the hopes of joining the team. I am a volunteer right now, and have come to appreciate the fact that the BIG THINGS that they do, are as a result of remaining small, stable and strong. They stay connected not only to the dogs, the handlers, trainers and the life time care animals, but also to the donors. They are totally appreciative of all donations, no matter the size and really show it. This is a hardworking, dedicated team who all have the same goal. Recruiting dogs from shelters and giving them jobs saving human life is an amazing undertaking, and the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is doing it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation for several years. I do my volunteering over the internet (proofreading & editing), so I don't get to see the other volunteers or the staff or the Search Dog-Handler Teams very often. But when I do see them in action -- whether in-person or on the news -- I am glad they are there to rescue people when disaster strikes. When I read of their hard work -- in an email alert from a deployment or on the Search Dog Foundation's Facebook page -- I am glad to be part of such an amazing group and I am glad to help them as they work so hard to help us all.

Review from CharityNavigator

dogtripper

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered for the SDF for 6 years, writing articles and photographing events and dog trainings. It has been my overall experience that every staff person, handler and dog has shown a high level of commitment and compassion. I love these folks! I will continue to support their efforts in whatever way needed for a very long time. They show integrity and inspiration all the way!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being a volunteer with the Search Dog Foundation since 2001. Like everyone else on September 11th, I was glued to the TV as the events unfolded. And again like so many others, I was deeply touched by the actions of the search dogs and their firefighter partners. I had to find out more about them and my quest led me to the discovery of the SDF. I was compelled to be part of the organization that brought together both two and four-legged heroes. In my over 10 years of involvement my respect has deepened. My family sponsored Aspen (since retired after a stellar career) and couldn't have been prouder to tell the world about our latest addition! Witnessing the love that exists between firefighter and canine; knowing they are there for each other and for victims of disasters, tugs at my heart in a way that nothing else has ever done.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Search Dog Foundation (SDF) volunteer for the past 6.5 years, I have seen this organization grow by leaps and bounds. Its mission to rescue high-energy dogs from shelters and breed rescues, train them to be rescuers, and then give these extraordinary canines to firefighters and other first responders is the reason I became involved -- it mirrored my fallen colleague's passions -- giving to others and her love of dogs. With support from court reporters across America, the Julie Brandau Community Service Memorial has sponsored six SDF canines to date, and our memorial continues to thrive! The Foundation's staff is a lean, hard-working, dedicated group who are always there to cheer us on in our quest to keep Julie's memory alive. The Foundation's mission to strengthen America's disaster response network -- at no cost to fire departments -- is a noble one, and they've proven to me that they're a great nonprofit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a recent volunteer for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and consider it an honor to be involved in such an important and inspirational cause, but I have become even more impressed with the staff and their high level of commitment and work ethic. Wilma Melville is truly a visionary hero and her love and respect for dogs carries through in every aspect of this operation. One of my favorite things about coming here to volunteer is being around all the dogs that are pets of the staff that they bring to work with them. My idea of heaven! With such a big undertaking to raise the funds for the National Training Center, it's so heartwarming to see how even the smallest donation is met with such enthusiasm. I've never met such a dedicated and nice group of people.