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k9 connection
“Empowering young people to build strong lives,
one dog at a time.
Building lives by saving lives.”

k9 connection is an experiential program which educates and inspires high-risk youth by bonding with and training homeless shelter dogs using empathy, understanding and non-violence. The k9 connection program serves counselor-referred teens from participating schools, and concludes with a graduation ceremony…imprinting success…and placement of the dogs into permanent homes. After the teens “graduate” k9connection continues to work with them monthly through Peer Leadership and Intern programs. They also extend support to the adopters of the canine graduates.

k9 connection brings together city shelter dogs with at-risk teens, ages 14 to 18, who easily identify with the dogs’ plight. Like the dogs, the kids may have experienced abandonment, abuse, homelessness, fighting and more. The teens train the dogs in basic obedience creating more adoptable animals, and the students become humane ambassadors for the well being of all dogs.

Because of their work with the dogs, students can identify positive reinforcements and motivations for themselves and apply them to their own lives. The classroom portion of the program features inspirational guest speakers, field trips, learning job interview skills through role playing, and developing a personal resume.

With the dogs providing instant and reliable feedback to the student trainers, the teens quickly see that change is possible. They have proof that consistency and patience can result in behavior modification for the dogs and themselves.

k9 connection empowers high-risk youth to apply the lessons they teach the dogs to their own lives: to develop an awareness of the risks of uncontrolled and impulsive behavior, and to believe in the power of positive reinforcement as an alternative to force and violence.

Office phone: 310 264 5424
(see our available dogs link to adopt!)


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