Mission & Inspiration
The Victoria Stilwell Foundation provides financial support and canine behavior expertise to assistance dog organizations and small animal rescue shelters while promoting the concept of reward-based, positive reinforcement dog training philosophies in organizations and households throughout the United States.
Over the past 20 years, Victoria’s extensive charitable efforts on behalf of rescue animals around the world helped to provide her with the experience and background necessary to tackle any behavior issue in problem dogs while further cementing her passion for helping those animals unable to help themselves. While living in New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, her experience while volunteering in the aftermath of the tragedy ignited a new passion to support those amazing dogs who provide assistance to humans instead of the other way around. Immediately following the collapse of the World Trade Center, Victoria found herself volunteering on Pier 94 on Manhattan’s west side near where she lived at the time. This pier was the staging area for many of the rescue and recovery operations related to the tragedy downtown, and since the majority of the victims’ personal artifacts recovered from Ground Zero were brought to the pier for DNA testing and collection, it became the primary support center for the victims’ families. One of Victoria’s primary jobs was assisting the therapy and support dogs who were brought from all over the country to help the victims’ family members grieve while they took the somber trip down the Hudson to Ground Zero to pay their respects and say their goodbyes on barges and boats. Struck by the power and innate sense of understanding that these amazing dogs possessed as they helped previously unresponsive spouses and children come to terms with their loss, Victoria has remained committed to supporting the wonderful work done by canine assistance training and placement organizations worldwide. Now with the official launch of VSF, this passion has come full circle and is combined with her desire to help smaller rescue shelters more efficiently and effectively deal with the overpopulation of rescue animals around the world.