Charity of the week
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (search dogfoundation.org)helps rescue dogs become people rescuers. Founded in 1996, the Santa Paula, Calif.– based nonprofit recruits abandoned dogs from shelters and trains them to use their acute sense of smell to pinpoint human survivors in the aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other disasters. It costs $20,000 to teach each dog how to sniff out humans buried under rubble or wrecked cars. Once trained, the search canines are partnered with firefighters and other first responders. There are currently 65 foundation-trained search teams working across the country. The organization’s animals have helped find survivors after such tragedies as Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake and the 2011 tornado that flattened large parts of Joplin, Mo.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which rates not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their governance practices, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest rating.