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Two Programs Pair Shelter Dogs with Juvenile Inmates

Shelter dogs with Juvenile inmate
Lenny, photo courtesy of
Fox 5 New York.

Dogs can inspire us to be better people and there is no better proof of that than when troubled kids in juvenile centers and jails can help train dogs.

One program in Amarillo, Texas called Unlocking Hope pairs local shelter dogs with juvenile inmates who help socialize and train the pups to increase their chance of being adopted.

“Here they learn to reach out and put some of their needs aside for the betterment of another individual, in this case a dog,” Joe Barton, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Randall County, told Newschannel 10. “They’re learning to be responsible. They’re learning to open up and trust. They’re learning to show care. It’s a very experiential, real-life set of skills that they can parlay over to people in their community.”

Plenty of kids apply for the Randall County program but only two were selected for this round. The selected kids have responsibility for the dog. “The dog lives with them, sleeps in their room with them and the kiddo is in charge of the dog,” says Barton.

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