About Us

The Churchill Foundation has rescued many perfectly adoptable animals from our local shelters, however, we pride ourselves on taking on the more difficult cases, like Churchill. We specialize in major medical such as heart conditions, as well as behavioral cases such as reactivity or aggression. Our founders have extensive backgrounds in animal behavior and are able to provide effective, gentle training and rehabilitation.


Animal rescue is a lot more than simply saving and placing pets. It is essential to learn animal behavior to best serve the dogs in our care. Proper lifestyle matches are extremely important. We pay particular attention to each individual dog's needs. Every adoption starts with a two-week trial to ensure a happy, healthy, and permanent placement. Every animal that comes into our care remains a part of The Churchill Foundation - for life.

Who is Churchill the Polar Bear?

February of 2013

A small group of rescuers came across a big white dog in the isolation room of their county shelter, known only as #A697798. They all knew instantly that he just had to come with them. Unfortunately, shortly after bringing him home to Little Friends Foundation and naming him Churchill, it was discovered that he had a terminal heart condition. Knowing his time was limited, a bucket list was created and Churchill the Polar Bear was introduced to the world. He became a shining example of what can happen when you give a terminal shelter dog a chance. His bucket list created a loyal online community that followed his adventures, and as his heart kept going, more goals were added. Check out his bucket list

Summer of 2013
When one door closes...

It became apparent that Churchill would be the future for the family of Little Friends when it was announced that LFF would close their doors. They went to work creating something that only existed in their wildest dreams: The Churchill Foundation!

Fall of 2013
Another one opens

In September of that year TCF officially began and though not intentional, they rapidly started rescuing “the misfits.” The more difficult animals that most people, and even most rescues wouldn’t touch. Major medical cases such as heart conditions & even behavioral issues.

February of 2015

Much to the surprise and elation of his family, it was discovered that there were no longer any signs of Churchill the Polar Bear’s heart condition! His heart murmur was completely gone and the closure in his valve hardly noticeable. Even the cardiologist was dumbfounded, but it seemed awfully fitting for a dog who had inspired & saved so many.

September 2016

We celebrated 3 years of saving animals alongside Churchill. His heart remains steady and strong and he continues to inspire us everyday.

September 2017
The Century mark

We reached 100 lives saved and celebrated our 4th Anniversary in September.

Our Team


Lara Mirkovich

Lara began as a volunteer for a Seattle, WA rescue in 2010. She quickly found a home in Little Friends Foundation upon her return to Las Vegas. When she discovered LFF was to close, she was determined to continue on alongside her then hospice fosters Luka and Churchill. She, along with several other LFF employees, created The Churchill Foundation.


Sophie Duncan

Sophie grew up in Australia and currently resides in Dallas, Texas. She met Lara in 2011 before Little Friends or TCF were in existence and they quickly bonded over their love of pit bulls and coffee. Sophie has been donating her graphic design and merchandising skills to TCF from its inception.


Aaron Boespflug

Aaron met Lara and the crew after adopting Poe from Little Friends Foundation in 2013. When Lara started The Churchill Foundation Aaron and his wife Cristal knew that they wanted help an organization that works tirelessly to bring happily ever after stories to so many deserving rescue animals and families. They were lucky enough to adopt Oaklie in 2015 and are looking forward to seeing TCF continue to grow.


Stephanie Rohrbaugh

Stephanie is a Las Vegas native who first began volunteering for animal rescues with Best Friends, doing local adoptions at Petsmart then moved on to volunteer for several local animal rescue groups over the years. She is a crazy cat lady, but she’s a crazy dog lady as well. Stephanie first met Lara at Little Friends Foundation in November 2012, when she volunteered to feed and walk shelter dogs on Thanksgiving day. A few months later, she offered to foster a little Pomeranian mix that LFF had taken in who needed surgery on one of his back hips. Within an hour of getting little Duffy home (fka: Rusty James), Stephanie knew he would be her dog for life and foster failed. When LFF closed and TCF was born, she continued to support and volunteer for TCF over the years and looks forward to the future growth of the organization.