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Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Ojai, California. Its mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

The program offers professionally trained canines and an ongoing training program at no cost to fire departments. It ensures lifetime care for every dog in the program: once rescued, these dogs never need to be rescued again. There are 72 SDF-trained Search Teams in California, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Thanks to Mutual Aid Agreements between counties, cities, and states, these precious, life-saving resources can be shared regionally and nationally to ensure that NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND when disaster strikes.

Who Founded the SDF?


Since the tragedy of 9/11, SDF search teams have been called upon by state agencies across the country to serve as the first responders to numerous disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, mud slides, train derailments, and building collapses.  Whether responding to a major national disaster or one closer to home, SDF teams stand ready to serve.

Some of these disasters include:

• Tornado in Joplin, MO

• Tsunami & Earthquakes in Japan

• Structural Collapse in Jacksonville, FL

• Mill Valley Mudslide

• Hurricane Katrina

• Los Angeles Train Derailment

• World Trade Center Attack

• Oklahoma City Bombing

• Haiti Earthquake

• Oklahoma Tornados


How You Can Help

Disasters will happen. It’s only a question of time.

In 2012 the Search Dog Foundation will train 19 new teams to respond to future disasters at an average cost of $10,000 – $15,000 per team. We are raising funds to recruit and train these teams and to support our 73 existing teams through the SDF Handlers Fund.

Help ensure that more communities across the U.S. have local Search Teams ready to respond the moment when disaster strikes closer to home. Make your gift today in support of THE CLASS OF 2012: 17 SEARCH TEAMS FOR AMERICA.

• Donate Now

• Make an Estate Gift

• Sponsor a Search Dog

• Workplace Giving

• Volunteer

• Donating a Dog


At AHMC, we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to support such an incredible foundation. We know our donations are toward a phenomenal program and truly exceptional cause. If it weren’t for the National Search Dog Foundation, many individuals caught in an unexpected and unfortunate disaster may never have the opportunity to live.

We hope you take some time to look at their website and learn about their organization so that we can inspire you to donate as well.

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