OUR MISSION

We work toward a world where people see the value in senior and special dogs, and ensure each has a chance to find a loving home.

Why?

Why? Because these dogs are awesome! They are some of the happiest, most loving animals you will ever meet. But unfortunately, that’s not something many people realize. More and more, people are giving up their older dogs to shelters, where senior and disabled animals are likely to face euthanasia.

 

It’s a shame because most of these older dogs used to be family dogs. They are generally trained, well-behaved, and eager to bond with humans. The same is true for disabled pups: give them a little extra care, and you’ve made a lifelong friend. It makes them ideal pets! So, this is where Unconditional comes in.  We pull senior and disabled dogs from shelters where they would likely otherwise be euthanized and bring them to our rescue where they have a safe and comfortable place to live until we can match them with a family that will love them.

OUR ADOPTION CENTER

Set in the beautiful hills of Laguna Canyon Road.

Community animal shelters can be overwhelming, loud, and crowded. Dogs in this environment can shut down and display extreme signs of stress. This makes it difficult for adopters to envision these sweet family dogs as they truly are. That’s why our facility will be built to look and feel like a calm, inviting, luxurious home, where their personalities can truly shine. Unconditional will be an oasis for the community – a place where the public is eager to visit, volunteers look forward to devoting their time, and dogs are able to relax and enjoy an open floor plan geared towards fostering engagement and connection. By building a beautiful place that draws everyone in – both two-legged and four – and makes them feel welcome, we will directly demonstrate how senior and special dogs make the most incredible companions.

 

Our center is under construction and expected to open at the end of this year.  If you’d like to contribute the opening of our new home, let’s talk!

SUPPORT

OUR APPROACH

We are different, and so are the dogs we work to find homes for!

We won’t pull on your heartstrings by sharing sad stories — instead, we highlight the joy these dogs bring and look to match them with homes that realize that each of these lives is an incredible gift. They aren’t sad, and you shouldn’t be either! We also believe that teamwork and collaboration are essential in the rescue community and we lead by example.

OUR SOLUTION FOR MEDICAL CARE

Our sister entity, Rise Pet Health, has some of the brightest veterinarians you can find.

Medical care is the number one expense for most animal rescues, typically exceeding 50% of operating costs. For senior and special dogs those costs can be even higher, and those are funds that need to be raised year after year. As a solution to this challenge, we launched a sister entity called Rise Pet Health, located just a short drive from Unconditional’s adoption center. Rise is a 20,000 square foot, technologically advanced multi-specialty veterinary hospital which includes neurology, oncology, internal medicine specialists, and more! While it operates as a separate for-profit entity serving the public, a core purpose of Rise is to provide free medical care to dogs under the care of Unconditional.

 

This model allows us to be uniquely efficient – and further, it allows our donors to feel especially good about their support, as they know we are operating in a strong and sustainable way.

Our Leadership

Meet Our Team

  • Alexis Gomez
    Special Projects Director
    Meet Alexis, a passionate marketer with an endless hunger to make a positive difference. A strong believer in service, her philosophy is that the greatest impact we can have over the course of our lives is being actively involved in giving back. She is deeply connected to Unconditional’s mission and brings a compassionate spirit, zest for life, and unwavering love for dogs to her role. Alexis holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing from the University of Miami (Go Canes!). She currently resides in Laguna Beach with her loving boyfriend and three furry best friends, Abby, Zoey and Izzy.
  • Ashley Martin
    Marketing Coordinator
    Ashley has always been drawn towards animals and knew from a young age that she wanted to help them. After college, where she received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing, she worked as a Vet Technician for 3 years. Now that she's part of the Unconditional team, she's tapping into her creative side and handling all things marketing. She is so excited to put her education and passion for animals to good use! When she isn’t writing a newsletter or working on our social media, she's usually hanging out with her three cats (Nubs, Wally, and Maya) and her dog (Peaches).
  • Sabrina Neas
    Chief Operating Officer
    Sabrina has spent the last 11 years involved with all aspects of animal rescue, both personally and professionally. Prior to joining Unconditional, she served as Adoption Center Manager for Priceless Pets. She made a deep impact on the community including managing hundreds of volunteers, organizing large adoption and fundraising events, working directly with local government agencies, and assisting in massive rescue missions of 200+ dogs. Sabrina comes from a professional background in sales and marketing. With prior executive experience at companies including Zillow and Tangram Interiors, she has cultivated communication skills that allow her to speak effectively on behalf of the voiceless…homeless pets.

Our Leadership

Board Members

  • Amy Mack
    President
    Amy has spent the last 10 years as an early-stage investor with a special focus on consumer companies that improve our lives. Her first investment, JustFoodForDogs, has grown from a single location in Newport Beach in 2012 to more than 900 locations today. Working with a variety of companies across industries and at various stages of growth has armed her with exceptional insight into what it takes to build a world-class organization.

    Prior to investing, Amy was a business analyst at McKinsey & Company and later worked in wealth management at Goldman Sachs. She holds a degree in Economics and Mathematical Modeling from Northwestern University. Philanthropy has always been at the center of Amy’s life. She has been active in animal welfare for more than 20 years, having served as one of the earliest members of PAWS Chicago, where she served on the Board of Directors, helped lead their capital campaign, chair the FurBall gala, and serve as their President. She is the co-founder of Unconditional and founder of Rise Pet Health.
  • Julian Mack
    Treasurer
    Julian has a broad range of experience in consulting, investing, and management. He spent most of his career at McKinsey & Company, where he held a variety of senior roles, including serving as the Managing Director of the Firm's five Midwestern offices and as the leader of the Telecom and Advanced Industries Practices. He transitioned to investing and was partner at LCatterton, the world’s largest consumer private equity firm, for the last 10 years. Currently he is the CEO of JustFoodForDogs. Mr. Mack graduated from Harvard, magna cum laude, and earned his MBA from Stanford University.

    Amy and her husband Julian are proud pet parents to four senior/special needs rescues — StanLee, Levi, Oona and Harper❤️
  • Michael Houston
    Secretary
    Mike Houston is a member of the Unconditional Board and is the proud doggy-daddy of Honey, a chihuahua-terrier mix. Mike’s family adopted Honey 9 year ago when she showed up at their family home unannounced, after unsuccessfully trying to find Honey’s owners. Mike is a lawyer with 22 years of experience in corporate/public agency governance, ethics, and land use/real estate/economic development. He’s served as the unanimously appointed city attorney of California’s 10th largest city, general counsel of California’s largest private land owner, general counsel of a 38,000 member nonprofit organization and presently serves as chief counsel to the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization.
  • Gwenn Vallone
    Board Member
    Gwenn Vallone has been involved in rescue for 20 years and is currently a Founding Board Member and the Executive Director of Pug Nation Rescue of Los Angeles. She is honored to be part of the Board of Unconditional and is really looking forward to being able to help this great mission in any way possible. Gwenn is the proud Momma of three rescue pugs who are seniors and/or special needs: Chowder, Gumpie and Otter.

OUR FOUNDERS

Amy & Julian Mack

We have been active in animal welfare for 20 years. The journey to the idea of Unconditional began when we adopted Carlo, a stray pug with a missing rear leg. Carlo taught us that disabled means different — not sad or limited. In fact, he was the most exuberant and wildly personable dog we had ever had! Carlo inspired us to dig more deeply into the plight of senior and disabled dogs, and sadly we found out that our misconceptions were common. In SoCal, senior dogs are the only population being left behind in shelters, and disabled dogs are routinely euthanized.

 

We adopted more ’special’ dogs – including StanLee, a senior in a wheelchair; Levi, also in a wheelchair; Tomas, a blind senior with impaired mobility; Asher, a senior who had suffered terrible neglect; Oona, a lively girl with a wheelchair; and Harper, a tiny super-senior with mobility challenges found alone on the streets of Los Angeles. They are all fantastic and loving companions, full of spirit and fiercely loyal (and strong!). We decided we had to do something. In speaking with other rescues, we concluded that we needed a new model — a place purpose-built to help these special dogs recover and shine. Designed in collaboration with leading shelter medicine researchers and rescue entrepreneurs, Unconditional will be a model that can be replicated in other cities.

 

No adoptable dog should be denied a chance to bring their hearts to a home simply because they are older or different!

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