At risk middle-school students are selected to participate in the Kids and Canines program located on the Dorothy Thomas campus. We work with teachers, counselors, therapists and parents throughout the selection process.
As a result of our program, we’ve seen:
Students are selected for the program in collaboration with their teachers, counselors, therapists, and parents. Before beginning the program, they must agree to attend school regularly, make academic improvement, and adhere to behavior standards.
Younger students start as dog groomers. They are responsible for brushing the dogs, bathing them, clipping nails, cleaning ears, and alerting program staff to any potential health problems they notice. They are also responsible for various chores associated with the dogs’ care.
Older students step up to become dog trainers. Whenever possible, students remain with the same dog through the entire 18-24 month training period. The bond formed between a student and “their” dog may be the first experience these children have with trust and unconditional love.