This program was developed from other successful models that have been used throughout the United States.  It pairs at risk youth and dogs from animal shelters.  The youth train the dogs in hopes of making the dog more appealing for adoption.  At-risk youth develop the skills they need to become more caring, responsible and empathetic members of their community.

The program will allow for up to 6 at-risks students at a time to train a dog that is received from an animal shelter. The group is taught by an experienced dog trainer who will teach the students how to properly care for (including grooming, cleaning up the pen, walking, etc.) and train the dogs to be eligible for adoption.

Students will meet 3 times a week for 5 weeks for up to 2 hours which will give them a total of 20 – 30 community service hours.

Each session will contain training with the dog, lessons on animal behavior, and bonding time for student and animal at the beginning and end of each session. Students will be asked to fill out a pre and post evaluation sheet to be used to better the program.

After completing the program, the dog will receive a certificate showing that it has been trained. HAIEA will either try to find a home for the dog or will send it back to the shelter with the certificate to find a home. The students will also have a graduation ceremony from the program and receive a certificate of completion.

Dog Trainer:  Cathy has had professional training for dogs and has had experience with agility as well. Her experience has been used at Petco, dog therapy team that visits Baylor hospital, vet tech contact for Frisco High School, and numerous educational and nonprofit purposes.  Cathy has several dogs of her own that live on the farm and also teaches a dog training course for friends once a week. 

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