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

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I was raising a potential Guide Dog for the Blind who was completely bored with Guide Dog training. Then the organization I was volunteering with dissolved unexpectedly and I was able to keep the dog. I knew that from the time he started getting bored with training that this was a dog who needed a job in order to be happy: preferably a very active and challenging job.

A person I met who did wilderness search and rescue suggested that I look into NDSDF. I did, and was amazed by the work that they did.

A short time later, Pluis Davern tested him and he started search Dog training. He became one of the wonderful Search Dog Foundation dogs: Icon.

Though his life was brief, he was so happy!

While I don't have much money to give, the Search Dog Foundation is my charity of choice. When I am able, I give what I can.

The work that they do is beyond amazing and what a contribution they make to our first responders and to the citizens of our nation. I cannot think of a cause or group that is more deserving of everyone's support.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became a donor after I saw a demonstration of a search dog in action at a court reporting convention in DC. What an amazing charity that saves lives on both ends of the spectrum!! I follow all of their stories on social media and proudly donate to this very worthy cause.

Donor

Rating: 5

The National Search Dog Foundation's motto "from rescued to rescuer" tells it all. I am so grateful dogs that would most likely be euthanized or live in shelters for their entire lives are given meaningful jobs as search and rescue dogs. That's a win-win! In addition, any dogs that are rescued but don't make the cut are given forever homes with loving families. I am so impressed with this mission I've added a bequest to the foundation in my estate plan.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting this organization since September 2001.
Not only do they do great work helping people in all kinds of countries with disasters, but most of my donation goes to the work. Not into salaries. The most impressive thing, no matter how much l donate, everyone gets a personal phone call of thanks from a volunteer. My only regret, is l wish l lived closer so l could be a volunteer. I thank God for Wilma, the great lady behind NDSDF and for all the dogs and handlers helping those in need.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband & I have been donors to Nat'l Disaster Search Dog Foundation for many years. We love their mission; they provide a win-win in so many ways! First, they rescue dogs from shelters that may not be suitable for most people - high strung, active pups. Nothing wrong with these "wonder dogs" but just tough to place. The Search Dog Foundation takes these dogs and trains them to look for live people in disaster/critical situations. It's a rigorous program. Not all the pups graduate, but that's OK. They are placed in other training programs...the dogs are never returned to the shelter:)

After graduation, the dogs get placed with fire personnel - a team is then born! They are partners in all situations. Wherever there is a need worldwide, these teams are ready and able to help!

We have developed great friendships with the staff and with many of the teams. We currently are guardians of 4 teams and are so proud of all of them!

In conclusion, we LOVE this organization and its mission! IT's the BEST

Mary & Jeff Kroll
Fort Washington, PA

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned of the Foundation at a court reporting convention in Las Vegas and have since genuinely enjoyed seeing their stellar work. I have 100% confidence that my donations go to a great organization.

snyderpata

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm so happy to support this wonderful charity...it is MY FAVORITE! I have followed them for 5-6 years, and have sponsored a dog the last 2 years, and will sponsor another one this year, also! I love the idea that they obtain their candidate dogs from shelters, donated dogs or from no-kill organizations.....the dogs who prove suitable to become a Search & Rescue dog find their "new career", and are so happy with their new job! The trained dogs are donated to a Fire Department at the successful end of their 9 months training. Here are the 2 dogs I have sponsored in the last 2 years...Clancy and Merlin (shown with their wonderful firefighter handlers)!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my facorite charities!! Dogs are recruited from Rescues and strays, or abandoned animals. They are then trained for 9 months to the speciality of Search & Rescue.. If they pass the rigorous training program, then are then paired with a Firefighter, and donated to his/ her fire department! This is taking a discarded dog ( who would probably be euthanized), and giving them a full and rewarding life!! This is all funded with private donations....how much better could it be???

Review from Guidestar

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Donor

Rating: 5

In 2005, I joined the Moorpark Women's Fortnightly Club in honor of their 100th Anniversary here in Moorpark, California ~ the very first guest speaker I heard was this lovely little woman from Ojai who had begun a 'rescue' of sorts for shelter dogs in Ventura County & turned them into Search & Rescue Dogs at her home & training facility .. since then, I've kept up with Wilma through local news & now social media. It is extraordinary that she has become quite the celebrity having expanded from her original idea leading up to today's current level of Search & Rescue expertise! It's the growth factor that makes this non-profit deserving of this attention, but the growth factor really translates into more lives saved, both human & canine. Next semester, the Club is re-instating this charity as official in it's annual budgetary donations list supporting local charities .. guess who grabbed the open position of Chairman? Sincerely, Kathleen Walle ~ Moorpark, California 93021 kjwalle5@roadrunner.com

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Search Dog Foundation is probably one of the best organization in the Country. First, all of their dogs are rescued from shelter, not bought from breeders. They then are trained and paired with a handler at great cost. Together a team will then be on-call to go anywhere in the world to help search for victims of all types of disasters.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has been our charity for 20 years. There is no higher calling than supporting rescued dogs, first responders, and no better staff, than SDF. We love you!

Denise142

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization has performed so many difficult disaster recovery operations in horrendous environments it is amazing! What extraordinary help and loving support these dedicated volunteers and animals bring to first responders. I donate to this organization and feel priveledged to have met some of the dogs and their handlers in Ojai.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

What a win-win situation! So many dogs, that nobody wanted, have been saved, and in turn,
are being trained to save others (including people!) in the event of a disaster.
This group, and the tremendous work that they do, makes me think of Bretagne, the
rescue dog from Texas Task Force 1....the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices, made by all dogs and their owners/handlers.
God Bless the NDSDF!!

Donor

Rating: 5

Great plans built around a unique vision and implemented successfully by a group of very hard working individuals is the essence of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation in my humble opinion and why I have been a donor to this fine organization for many years now. Here is what my donation achieves......it helps shelter dogs (a very high percentage of dogs that are accepted into NDSDF are found in shelters by the NDSDF team) destined to a life of confinement or worse out of the shelter and on to a rewarding, exciting, enjoyable forever life; it supports our dedicated rescue men and women from police and fire departments by providing them with these outstanding, well trained dogs; and it helps to save lives after disasters occur throughout the world. If you want your donation to 1) save shelter dogs and provide them with love, training and a rewarding life, 2) support our police and fire rescue teams of dedicated men and women and 3) SAVE LIVES......then I urge you to donate to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation!!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We are fortunate and privileged to have been a part of this magnificent organization since inception. We have watched with enthusiasm and great pleasure as the Foundation and Training Center grew from a canyon of brush, weeds and wasteland to the beautiful and functional ground it is now, a university for training search dogs. We have witnessed the training of rescued, high energy, unmanageable dogs become rescuers. With the proper training, facilities and tools provided by the National Search Dog Foundation these animals become life savers. Everyone associated with this great organization is a hero and a humanitarian. We proudly support this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have had a long standing relationship with NDSDF and have supported them through fund raisers and events we held on their behalf. They have always been supportive of our efforts, sending materials and for some events, a search team visited our events. These are great people!

Donor

Rating: 5

NDSDF is transparent, dedicated, smart, and trustworthy. I have been a donor for 13 years. I always know where the money is being utilized. Their products that can be purchased are of the highest quality. They keep me informed without being annoying AND they have called me to thank me personally. National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is my preferred non-profit.

Melanie33

Donor

Rating: 5

Animals helping animals! How magnificent! Rescued Dogs given a second life, a job, rescuing lost, stranded, and buried people! What more can you ask for? The best organization I've ever donated to.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have donated to the Search Dog Foundation several times as a memorial to the pets of family & friends who have passed. We've been so impressed with how quickly SDF has notified the owners of the pets we have memorialized. We also appreciate the letter we receive from SDF recognizing our donation. It is so much more than a receipt. It is friendly, informative & well designed. The Estate & Development Manager has even written a personal note on the letter we receive. SDF also has volunteers do a follow up phone call to donors thanking them for their support. SDF always makes us feel that our donation is appreciated & that we're helping to do something good by making the donation. We feel this is an outstanding organization & we will continue to support it whenever we can.

Warmly,
LERYL & VICKI BROWN
Troy, ID

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been evolved with the SDF early on. Our donated dollars are very well spent. Much thought has gone into the organation. How much better can it get from rescuing dogs and giving them a job to rescue people caught in a disaster?
Our heart felt appreciation goes out to all the team at SDF..dogs included!
God bless, the Courson family

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered SDF through another website and was so impressed with their mission I immediately knew I had to donate towards their "cause". The idea of helping in searches while saving dogs at the same time stole my heart as I am huge into rescuing. As I have mentioned to them, I also donate to the ASPCA and HSUS and nothing annoys me more to then receive things I don't want, i.e. address labels, calendars, shoelaces, mittens, etc. It makes me wonder how much of what I gave goes to the organization. When I received a phone call from Debra after my first donation thanking me, I was more than surprised. I knew then that this was an organization I would continue to donate to. And, then receiving just a thank you note and a bookmark was perfectly fine with me although I do also enjoy the update emails. I will continue with my donations thanks to their good deeds!

Review from Guidestar