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DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE SERVICES

Pet Therapy

Dogs Bring Unconditional Love To The Residents Of The Detention Center

This unique and special curriculum began on July 1, 2002 and permits the children to experience different types of dogs, along with the expertise and knowledge of their numerous Therapy Dog Handlers.

Our dog handlers bring dogs that provide diversified personalities and life experiences to the children. These dogs are able to sense when a juvenile is upset and will cuddle or lick him/her until their anxieties are lessened. The children form a very exceptional bond between all involved and their respect and appreciation is reciprocal and apparent.

Children are taught:
  • Doggie Etiquette
  • The Origin of Dogs
  • Grooming, Health Care, Nutrition
  • Training (sit, stay, down, leave it and heel)

Each week the children meet with these special Therapy Dog Incorporated handlers and their different breeds of dogs, each rotating once or twice a month. Upon completion of each session, the residents are given special certificates describing the program area they have personally completed. To bring diversification to the program, the volunteers also play unusual types of word games with the children. For example: The residents must recall from previous sessions what type of dog is described, why they were bred, where they came from, and what their favorite trick might be.

Our goal is to be able to teach the participants to train their own pets when they return to their homes, and in their future lives. Possibly to even pursue a career within the veterinarian fields, rescue, shelters, service dogs, armed services or police specialty dogs. The interaction between the young people, the handlers and the dogs provides a diverse and interesting activity for them during the week and on weekends that will generate a positive growth in their attitudes towards other people, as well as animals in their future years.