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National Mill Dog Rescue

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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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This organization WAS a great organization several years ago, but the director has lost sight of the original goals of the organization. Theresa has become much more interested in photo ops and news and magazine stories than about the adoption side of her business. Within the past year, there have been at least two cases of sick and/or damaged dogs that died almost immediately after being chased around a kennel or a yard by a person with a video camera to create a video for fund raising purposes. These dogs died from shear fright--all for fund raising purposes. Very unethical! Recently, a person was approved to adopt a particular dog and arrangements were made for her to pick up her dog. In a rare event, Theresa came in, said she had promised the dog to someone else (not following their own rules), and instructed her adoption coordinator to call this woman and say that NMDR had decided the dog "would be too big for her." This was a total lie. A short time later, one of the puppies of the dog she wanted was returned, and this woman was called and told to come and get THIS puppy. I guess, now she can handle a big dog. These things should NEVER happen. Honesty is important for any business; but it is certainly a problem for this one. One could also make a strong case for this organization being discriminatory. Very few volunteers are non-white, very few adopters are non-white, and the locations where adoptions events are held in "desirable zip codes." There is also no logic to the adoptions of the dogs. Some families have adopted 8 dogs and do not have to follow the rules, while other people are turned away for absurd reasons, or for no reason given. It is impossible to question them because they never answer the phone and will not answer emails if they are being questioned. Their 501(c)(3) category is still listed as N60 Sports rather than D20 Animal Welfare. In the past 1 1/2 years, NMDR changed their adoptions contract so that it now says that you do not actually own your dog. You must agree that NMDR may come AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE to double-check the home you are providing and they may reclaim your dog! Everyone seems sure NMDR would never do this, but their partner group, North Shore Animal League has done exactly that and re-sold the dog. DO NOT assume NMDR would not do the same. NMDR also refuses to release the contact information on the puppy mills with which they have formed "relationships." This one step would bring about the closure of puppy mills faster than anything other action. Note: I am not saying there is anything wrong with the volunteers of this organization. They are devoted people who work very hard. However, very few of them are even aware of what is going on around them. It is the Top Level of this group that has lost course. The comment someone made about food was right on. I was told when I asked about how large a room full of food would last and I was told "over a year." I also noticed that there are many different companies donating food on a regular basis several times a year; and yet there were two requests to the public for "badly needed" dog food within just a few weeks. The veterinary comment someone else mentioned is also true. Very few vets in the area will work with this group. If fact, a different non-profit has taken on as their charity the responsibility of paying NMDR's vet bills. Foster homes often have to pay vet expenses themselves. Unfortunately, most people see only the top surface of this organization and do not look deep enough to know the full story. NMDR has hired a PR person to build Theresa's exposure, which means, if you donate, you are probably paying that person salary--not helping a dog. I also just saw and ad saying NMDR needed more volunteers. This is something NMDR never had to do before and it is not because they are taking in more dogs. In fact, they only have one kennel now. (They used to have two.) If you are looking for a group to support financially, this group should only be considered for donating items the dogs can use--not money. Or, donate your time as a volunteer--and keep your eyes and ears open. You will be surprised at what you see and hear. Most people do not know that NMDR has won several "contests" this past year because so many volunteers call in to web sites on all of their computers to register "votes" These awards have had large cash awards--I'm not even sure what their total has been, but I saw one award of $50,000 and another of $25,000. I will be checking to see how these get recorded on their taxes. This group can use you as a volunteer, but there are more financially needy organizations that are certainly more ethical.