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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

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of National Mill Dog Rescue in 2008 while producing the documentary, I Breathe. I was immediately impressed by the integrity and heart of this organization.

It is eye-opening, and often shocking, to experience firsthand what this group does to rescue dogs from commercial breeding facilities.

The mission is focused and I can honestly say - despite being a skeptical journalist - that NMDR is the real deal. It is truly about the dogs.

5 Michele41

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

10,400 Dogs & Counting

I became aware of puppy mills by volunteering at National Mill Dog Rescue in 2011. Seeing dogs who had lived their entire lives in small wire cages with minimal human contact enjoy their first moments of freedom, the first touch of grass, the first soft bed, and the first loving touch of a hand, made me determined & committed to help save more.

As a result of witnessing & experiencing these life-changing moments for these puppy mill survivors, I continue to give to save more. Every month, I witness the organization's success in saving lives that would otherwise be destroyed. Commercial breeding dogs, having lived 7-10 years in a cage, are typically destroyed when they are no longer producing a profit.... unless a rescue saves them. These senior dogs who have lived their entire lives producing pet store puppies for the public, if rescued, are returned to health, socialized, and placed in loving forever homes so they can begin to learn about life outside of the cage. Tillie (photo) is one of the puppy mill survivors I adopted.

This is why I give. 10,400 dogs and counting....

Review from #MyGivingStory

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

National Mill Dog Rescue is a wonderful organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes discarded commercial breeding dogs and helps educate the public about the cruel realities of the commercial dog breeding industry. It's led by the amazing, Theresa Strader and has hundreds of passionate volunteers who give of their time, hearts & talents. Close to 8,000 dogs have been rescued to date.

9 Gloria34

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I submitted an application to adopt a specific dog on Sunday. Got an email Monday to read about the commitment involved in adopting one of their dogs. I emailed them that day. No response. Sent 4 emails. Heard nothing by Thursday night. Went on their Facebook page to try to determine if people actually get to adopt from them or just get to donate time and money. Also looked at their tax returns. In Colorado, a nonprofit cannot loan money to their board members or officers but they made a $57,000+ loan to the husband of their executive director. I posted questions on their Facebook page. Finally got an email this morning saying that someone would be in touch today to schedule a home visit. After I sent them info re the loan, I was informed that I would not be able to adopt from them. Hmmmmm


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I started following NMDR after adopting a former puppy mill mama. They are dedicated, smart and oh so kind to these poor dogs. They are raising awareness and doing such a service to dogs who would have no hope.

9 Danielle92

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live in Canada, and I wish we had a Theresa Strader here. I am so impressed with the level of commitment to this cause by her and all of her volunteers. I will never forget Lily. These are angels on earth. They are amazing. God bless them.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NMDR is an awesome organization with incredible people who save the lives of countless animals from the living hell of puppy mills. Their mission is to get the dogs out of these awful places, rehabilitate and then re-home them and they do a wonderful job of this. They see things while on their rescue trips to the dog auctions and at the puppy mills that most of us would never want to see. Yet they do it for the dogs. Please support or adopt from NMDR if you are able.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome team who is trying to be the hero in stopping the puppy stores, who are shutting the puppy mills down one by one. They're awesome

5 Judith31

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I adopted a severly abused mill dog rescu a few years back and 4 years after his rescue he was still terrified of people. I ran across NMDR on the Internet, they invited me into their provate group of people who discuss how to help thise miill dogs and thier trainer helped me for free. I only met them a few months before my christopher died but he made more prpogrewss in those months and was happier than inteh previous 4 years. I din;t get him from them, they didn't rescue him and I was in a naother state and still they helped me and Christopher for no fee at all. The people I have met through this rescue ar ekind caring people who just want to help doggies. Ther yare my kind fo people.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware of NMDR from a news story a few years back. I began visiting their FB fan page, and did I ever get an education regarding puppy mills! Their educational outreach is amazing and they tell the stories of their own rescues to show the realities of the industry. It did not take long for me to fill out an application and adopt one of the milldogs. It's the best decision ever. The dogs are so well-taken care of in terms of socialization, medical care, grooming, etc. They are fostered with loving families who prepare them for their permanent homes. They take great care to find the right homes for the dogs, and they are very generous in offering many resources to adopters who may encounter some of the behaviors that are common with these dogs and not that easy to deal with. I have had the chance to mingle with volunteers who give selflessly and tirelessly for the care of the dogs. They know all the dogs by name and share stories of triumph when the dogs make strides in their new world of love. As for the founder, Theresa Strader, she and her whole family are completely hands-on in every aspect of the rescue. I really don't know how a rescue could be run better. The people involved are smart in their use of resources and outreach. When they say, "It's all about the dogs," it's really all about the dogs. Without their devotion to emptying the mills and saving the dogs they can, thousands of families would not know the joy of welcoming in little beings who were once broken but can now know wholeness.

Review from Guidestar