Change the Lives of Troubled Youth & Shelter Dogs

by Project Pooch, Inc.
Chrissy at Project POOCH
Chrissy at Project POOCH

Seeking out dogs for inclusion in Project POOCH is a standard practice, as all POOCH dogs come from other shelters.  Recently, we came across Chrissy.  This little dog would obviously be a costly intake, but she pulled on the heartstrings of program director Joan Dalton.  “We’ll take her,” Joan decided, knowing that we could offer Chrissy a brighter and healthier future. 

This Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund Mix had clearly been used as a breeding dog for quite some time.  Chrissy’s previous shelter informed us that she had just given birth to a litter of puppies.  Chrissy is about seven years old, and needs to be spayed.  Upon entering our program, Chrissy came into heat, necessitating that she wait a while longer before her spay.  In addition to this surgery, Chrissy is also scheduled for some intensive dental procedures.  During her veterinary exam, we learned that Chrissy has some of the worst teeth the veterinarian had ever seen, further confirming her rough past.

All of these procedures are costly – our adoption fee rarely covers the full costs of the services provided by Project POOCH; in Chrissy’s case, it is certain that we will lose money by bringing her into the program. 

However, the benefits are manifold and outweigh the financial burden of these procedures.  It is extremely valuable for the youth in the program to learn how to care for dogs in various medical states - Chrissy is providing such experience for the youth.  As for Chrissy, she enters Project POOCH in poor health knowing only a lifetime of breeding, but she will leave Project POOCH happy and healthy, bound for her forever home.  Chrissy’s disposition is no worse for the wear, as her trainers report that she is very sweet and affectionate.

Things are looking up for Chrissy
Things are looking up for Chrissy

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Salvador preparing to groom
Salvador preparing to groom

Salvador, a former youth in the Project POOCH program, helped give back to Project POOCH in a big way!  Project POOCH was chosen as one of five finalists for the Awesome Portland animals grant.  This past Tuesday, November 29th, the five finalists were challenged to a competition where each organization gave a 3-minute speech as to why their organization was the most deserving of the $1000 grant.

After a quick introduction from Joan Dalton, the founder and director of Project POOCH, Salvador delivered the speech for Project POOCH, vouching for the program he once participated in himself.  Upon learning the results of the competition, we were overjoyed to learn that Project POOCH tied for first place with an organization dedicated to trapping feral cats, and both organizations were awarded $1000!  

This win was really exciting for us, because it is a testament to the Project POOCH program.  We were incredibly touched that after being released from corrections, Salvador was already giving back to the community by sharing his story and helping to procure funds for more dogs and youth.  This shows just how effective Project POOCH is in achieving its mission statement of learning: responsibility, patience and compassion for all life.  Salvador's victory instills further hope that Project POOCH can continue to impact troubled youth and shelter dogs alike.

Salvador grooming Chihuahua
Salvador grooming Chihuahua
Salvador preparing to groom
Salvador preparing to groom

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Toby the Terrier
Toby the Terrier

Two of our Project POOCH Youth recently passed the Basic Canine Specialist Exam, which then qualifies them to work with animals upon their release from corrections.  Shawn, who received his certification, is now very much in-demand as a worker in doggie daycare.  This program is critical in providing employment opportunities for the youth.

We are seeing an influx of older dogs into our program.  All of our dogs come from other shelters, and we have recently taken in an 8-year old Labrador Mix and a 6-year old Terrier Mix.  The terrier has medical issues, which is giving the youth a hands-on opportunity to work with and understand the needs of senior dogs. 

We are thrilled to announce that Peanut, one of our long-time POOCH dogs, who was in the kennel for over a year, has found a loving home.  Peanut now lives with two other POOCH dogs, and is thriving.  We never lose hope in finding the right home for dogs, and Peanut is living proof.

The skills and responsibility learned through Project POOCH reach far outside the scope of pet care.  Many of the released youth profess that working with the dogs has helped them to become better fathers.  The lessons learned behind bars cultivate success beyond corrections.

Peanut, Corey and Bentley
Peanut, Corey and Bentley

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Quimby in Training
Quimby in Training

Project POOCH Skills Utilized for Good of Community

S. is a Project POOCH alum, who was transferred to a minimum security facility known as Camp Florence.  Camp Florence allows the youth to leave the facility during the day in order to work for local businesses and individuals in the community.  One of the supervisors at Camp Florence explained to S. that his autistic daughter would soon be receiving an autism service dog.  This supervisor knew of S’s background in dog training, and suggested that S. volunteer to raise puppies that will become service dogs.

Immediately, S. sought approval from the Oregon Youth Authority and applied to volunteer that very day.  S. was accepted into the program and received a labradoodle puppy named Quimby.  Quimby and S. are inseparable – Quimby sleeps in a crate next to S’s bed, and even goes to work with S.  They attend group puppy training sessions in Tualatin each month.

S. pays for the majority of Quimby’s expenses with money he earns at his job, while the expenses that are classified as “educational” are paid for by the Oregon Youth Authority.  The skills S. learned at Project POOCH have given him the ability to train an autism service dog – a highly specialized task – that S. is now doing for the good of the community.

Both Quimby and S. will be leaving this fall.  Quimby will go to his new family as a full-trained service dog, and S. will leave Camp Florence, as he is preparing for life on the outside.  We are confident that Quimby has received the best training possible, and we are thrilled that S. has continued to use the skills he learned through Project POOCH to better the community.

This is why we are huge believers in second chances. We are so honored to have been a part of Quimby’s success, and because of your support, POOCH Youth like S. are able to pay it forward as they move forward in their lives. THANK YOU for helping POOCH Youth achieve their dreams. Together, through work with dogs, life behind bars can have a huge positive impact on society!

 _______________________

 

You ARE making a difference and effecting lifelong positive change in the lives of the youth and dogs who are impacted by Project POOCH. Thank you for all the support you have given. We are so grateful and lucky to call you our friend.

 

Wednesday, June 15th, is a GlobalGiving Bonus Day where YOUR gift will be matched! If you haven't had the opportunity to make a gift in a while or would like to make another life-changing gift, we would greatly appreciate it. EVERY gift makes a difference – and makes dreams come true!

 

Thank YOU again from all of us at Project POOCH!

_____________________

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Dodger, happy to have found his forever home!
Dodger, happy to have found his forever home!

The impact of Project POOCH’s program reaches farther than just the dogs and youth at MacLaren. We recently learned awesome news of a special dog, who, while not a direct participant in our program at MacLaren, was indeed touched by the work we do. 

Dodger came to our attention a few years ago when Project POOCH youth, “Bud”1 transitioned to a facility in Florence, Oregon. The skills Bud learned at Project POOCH landed him a work-release job at the Florence Area Humane Society (FAHS), where he met the not-so-artful Dodger. Bud worked with Dodger, completed his program and eventually moved. Because POOCH Alum were working with Dodger, we listed his profile among our available dogs… 

…Sadly, not every dog has his day as quickly as we hope. Dodger remained at the FAHS facility while Project POOCH helped him gain more exposure through our website… 

Fast forward to 2016… 

Recent POOCH Alum, S. is relocated to the same program in Florence. Because of his work at Project POOCH, he too was given the opportunity to work with the dogs at FAHS. One of those dogs was of course, Dodger. S. ramped up Dodger’s training, and as a result of Dodger’s improved skills and behaviors, Dodger was moved to a facility in a more populated area. Within a couple of weeks, Dodger’s dream of a family and comfy, loving home, finally came true! 

We are so happy for Dodger, and for S. who never gave up on him, worked with him, loved him, and helped him along his journey to happiness and success. A journey, paralleled by that of S. himself. To say this youth is happy is an understatement. When we spoke with S. on the phone, you could hear the pride and joy in his voice, and the HUGE smile across his face when he talked about Dodger. And of course, Dodger’s smile says it all. That, is indeed priceless! 

This is an example of how a village came together to help a dog finally find a loving home to call his own. We are so honored to have been a part of Dodger’s success, and because of your support, POOCH Youth like Bud and S., are able to pay it forward as they move forward in their lives. THANK YOU for helping POOCH Youth and Dodger fulfill their dreams. Together, our “village” has made a difference and had a huge impact on society!

_______________________ 

You ARE making a difference and effecting lifelong positive change in the lives of the youth and dogs who are impacted by Project POOCH. Thank you for all the support you have given. We are so grateful and lucky to call you our friend. 

Wednesday, March 16th, is a GlobalGiving Bonus Day where YOUR gift will be matched! If you haven't had the opportunity to make a gift in a while or would like to make another life-changing gift, we would greatly appreciate it. EVERY gift makes a difference – and makes dreams come true! 

Thank YOU again from all of us at Project POOCH!

_____________________

1Due to confidentiality, names have been changed to preserve anonymity.

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Organization Information

Project Pooch, Inc.

Location: Woodburn, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.pooch.org
Project Leader:
Joan Dalton
Lake Oswego, OR United States
$51,034 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,133 donations
$48,966 to go
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