We have great news to share about the number of our youth getting out of corrections and working, going to school, or both! One is working full time with a veterinary clinic while studying to become a Vet Technician. Another has a job with a graphics company while others are working with dogs part-time while going to college.
Working with dogs has taught these youth responsility, patience, and compassion for all life. One youth recently sent the following note: "The strength and wisdom I've found in you, will be an inspriation my whole life through."
The program continues to help more youth through contributions from people such as yourself. Your support makes it all possible!
Project POOCH (Positive Opportunities, Obvious Change with Hounds) is very proud of a former youth who went on to college after leaving our program and recently received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
Andrew's first dog in the program was an abandoned chocolate lab, Rocky. The dog was depressed, sickly, and heartbroken over losing his family. Andrew liked Rocky immediately and spent time talking to the dog as he sat next to him in the kennel day after day until an adoptive family came along.
Although Andrew missed Rocky when he was adopted, it was affirmation to him that he could learn valuable skills working with dogs.
Rocky found his forever home and Andrew turned his life around to become a productive member of society.
How do we know that what we teach our children has been learned?
We have recently learned that three former Project POOCH youths are applying what they learned about dogs while incarcerated to help save dogs at a local animal shelter. The youth are no longer incarcerated; go to the local shelter and work with some of the hard-to-adopt dogs by using humane methods of training so the dogs have a better chance of being adopted. They first socialize and bond with the dogs before starting positive reinforcement training. Once the dogs are trained to be Canine Good Citizens, they will be adopted into permanent homes.
The youth work with these dogs to become better pets, while they continue to work on their social skills and to become productive citizens of their communities!
This evidence is the proof that the youths learned what they were taught in Project POOCH!!
Eighty-eight cents of every dollar donated goes to our program and making it possible to continue to provide valuable skills to the youth and provide adoptable dogs to the community that we serve.