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?

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 FACILITY

There is hardly a more beautiful setting than the hills of Laguna Canyon Road.

Unconditional is designed to look much more like a home than a rescue facility — and that is intentional. Our mostly-open floor plan concept allows dogs to interact and live much as if they were in a home, which is great for their mental well-being. And volunteers and staff benefit from all the positivity that a pleasing environment brings.

 

If you’re interested in volunteering, we’d love to have you!

VOLUNTEER

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 Care, will have some of the brightest veterinarians you can find.

Medical care is the largest expense for most rescues and is even more of a burden for senior and special dogs. We are building a sister entity to Unconditional to relieve that burden — now and for years to come. Rise Pet Care is a specialty vet clinic that will be located within a short drive of Unconditional. It will provide low/no cost care to the dogs in the care of Unconditional, ensuring the financial sustainability of the rescue.

 

We couldn’t be more excited about this innovation. The cost savings from securing free high quality medical care for our dog population is tremendous – and this means that we can really maximize the value of every dollar we receive from our generous donors!

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 Care.
  • 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, Asher and Oona ❤️
  • Peter Chang
    Executive Dir.
    Peter brings a blend of entrepreneurial energy and deep nonprofit expertise to Unconditional. Most recently, he was the chief executive officer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) where he elevated the organization’s animal welfare programs collaborative research initiatives, and science-based education curriculum. Under his guidance, PMMC formed a new operating leadership team including a nationally recognized thought-leader in marine mammal sciences. He expanded local community based educational programs for children’s hospitals to a national audience, extending PMMC’s reach to more than 26,000 annually. He crafted creative partnerships with local brands like Vans, international companies such as Dell Computer, and various celebrities. He also led PMMC’s largest Capital Campaign ($7.5million) to fund expansion of the facility and the addition of a water reclamation system.

    Prior to joining PMMC, he was the founding executive director of the Child Creativity Lab. The Child Creativity Lab continues to serve approximately 20,000 children annually with programs geared towards helping strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The nonprofit celebrated its 10th Anniversary earlier this year.
  • 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: StanLee (senior, in a wheelchair); Levi (in a wheelchair); Tomas (senior, blind, impaired mobility); Asher (senior, impaired mobility) and Oona (in a wheelchair). 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, we believe 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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