Department of Juvenile Justice Program
Adjudicated teens under the care of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) take one of our dogs into their residential home to train. There the dog lives with all those in the home but is trained by a training team, selected by the staff.
The training team, assisted by our professional dog trainer, is responsible for the dog’s training schedule and care. While being trained the dog interacts with staff and more than 20 teens daily.
Those selected to participate as trainers earn this right through good behavior.
This program is continuing to grow after a successful pilot. Some of the impacts from the pilot program included no behavior issues from all participating students for the 6 months of caring and training their first dog. The first student trainer who left the system was offered a job at a local animal clinic. And the first dog to graduate, Rex, went on to be placed with special forces veteran suffering from PTSD. These early successes continue as the program grows to serve even more.
Furry Tales Program for Elementary Students
Many of our Furry Tale participants have learning difficulties. Those who experience a deficiency with critical reading and comprehension learning can fall behind academically and develop self-esteem issues. By reading to a dog, fears of being judged are eliminated and the student comes to find reading an enjoyable experience.
Furry Tales builds excitement about reading by pairing one dog, one child and one book. Over the 12-week program reading skills are improved, giving the child a better chance of achieving educational success.
Because children want to participate in the Furry Tales Program it has provided an incentive for the child to practice positive classroom behavior.