Since I short-changed my planned Advent Giving Calendar by quite a few days, I’ll tack on a couple more suggestions before the month ends! These two groups are – once again – personal favorites. Working Dogs for Conservation uses the kinds of scent-work techniques used to train dogs in search-and-rescue, cadaver recovery, and narcotics detection, but trains the dogs to sniff out signs of endangered or invasive plant and animal species, instead! WDC dogs have helped biologists monitor bears in Alaska, Cross River gorillas in Cameroon, bog turtles in New Jersey, invasive snails in Hawaii… all kinds of cool stuff. This short-but-sweet video from Terra gives you a sense of how it’s done. (Update2: alright, alright… I give up on embedding that video.) I’ll wait while you watch it.
Am I right? Is this not a cool project? Donate here.
Another long-time favorite, the Search Dog Foundation, recruits rescued dogs and trains them to become search-and-rescue dogs! The dogs are screened, trained, and paired with a search-and-rescue handler, and then the team is trained some more. Their training and matching methods are top-notch: teams work together for years, and have been sent all over the country, as well as Haiti and Japan. Go here for some great photos of the search teams. Right now, your donation will help them meet a $10,000 matching grant challenge.