‘Unconditional’ Dog Shelter Announces Executive Director and Timeline for Groundbreaking

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The most updated rendering of the approved front view of Unconditional’s permanent facility on Laguna Canyon Road. Image courtesy of Unconditional Inc.

Amy and Julian Mack, founders of Unconditional Inc., a new Laguna Beach nonprofit dog shelter focused on saving vulnerable and overlooked dogs, have announced Peter Chang as its executive director.

The nonprofit said the shelter’s mission is to “build a world where people see the value in senior and special dogs and to ensure each has a chance to find a loving home.”

Chang, the former chief executive officer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC), was hired as the nonprofit goes through its final stages of permitting with the City of Laguna Beach for the construction of its brand-new adoption center on Laguna Canyon Road.

The existing building has already been demolished, and construction is set to begin before the end of the year.

Designed to look more like a home than a rescue facility, the two-story, 8,000 sq. foot building will house up to 40 dogs as the organization works to find them homes. Unconditional anticipates that, at scale, it will rescue and adopt out more than 1,000 senior and special needs dogs each year.

“I feel incredibly fortunate to have gained Amy and Julian’s trust,” Chang said. “What they have created in Unconditional is a mission that the community is really getting behind and in a big way as word gets out. It’s overwhelmingly tragic what’s happening to senior and special needs dogs in shelters around the country, and people don’t realize it. But more so than that, this is an opportunity to infuse the community with positivity and rally together as we work to support these incredible dogs.”

As the chief executive officer of PMMC, Chang helped to form 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 of $7.5 million to fund the expansion of the facility and the addition of a water reclamation system.

Prior to joining PMMC, Chang was the founding executive director of the Child Creativity Lab, which continues to serve approximately 20,000 children annually with programs geared toward helping strengthen problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The nonprofit is now in its 10th year.

“Peter is that rare, exceptional individual who attracts talented people with a magnetic pull,” Amy Mack said. “You feel his passion and energy the moment you meet him. Launching a new organization takes a full arsenal of skills and is one of the toughest jobs. Peter brings all that and more. We are beyond honored that Peter chose to partner with us to build Unconditional – what a huge win for senior and special needs dogs.”

The nonprofit expects the medical costs for an at-risk population of dogs to be significant. Therefore, the Mack’s are building a sister entity, Rise Pet Care, to relieve that burden. Through a partnership, Rise will provide pro-bono medical care to the dogs at Unconditional, ensuring they will be in their best health for adoption.

Unconditional was also recently selected to be the recipient of this year’s Chef Masters event that will be held on Oct. 16 at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach. This outdoor food and wine tasting event will bring together over 300 attendees interested in Unconditional’s journey. The event will showcase approximately 40 well-renown chefs and a dozen wineries. Guests, including leaders in the community, will have the opportunity to mingle directly with and sample their creative dishes for the evening. This will be the organization’s launch event and their signature fundraiser for the year.

For more information on the nonprofit, visit www.unconditionalrescue.org and www.chefmasters.org.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Amy & Julian:
    Great neighbors and obviously great animal lovers. Thanks you two, its always a treat to see you with some of your rescues, chat with you both!
    Thanks too for sharing with me the frustration regarding the various hurdles you’ve faced launching this effort, but knowing you both, I think your intrinsic, non-material core values resulted in exemplary perseverance—-just like your rescues, survivors!

  2. A Seniors Home for Dogs? Now, I’ve heard everything. Can’t their money be used to house immigrants or provide plastic surgery for body insecure Laguna Teens?

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