Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rescue Dogs and Teens

Chicago has, more than once, been name the Most Dog Friendly City in the U.S. The Chicago Tribune is pretty good about indulging us with local stories. This article talks about a Keeshond Rescue Group that has partnered with a residential facility for teens. The kids work on training with the dogs, making them more likely to be adopted. The kids gain skills and insight and perhaps relate to animals in a way they may not be able to with people. A dog that lost its home to foreclosure, another that was bait for dogfighters, etc.

The article mentions a story about a program for inmates in a South Carolina prison. Inmates were paired with puppies for a similar purpose and the results were fabulous. I remember reading about it and thinking it was the best idea I had ever heard. In some college psychology class or another, we were taught that violent and anti-social behavior toward people is often preceded in youth by violent behavior toward animals. Part of the idea of these programs is the opportunity for the inmate or "troubled teen" to experience empathy with the animal.

I am pleased to see a local group has implemented such a program.

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