In 2015, the Sacramento County Probation Youth Detention Facility began its partnership with Pawsitive Impact and its Adolescent Learning Powered by Humane Advocacy (ALPHA) program, which is a mutually beneficial program for at-risk teens and hard-to-adopt shelter dogs. This program uses humane education to improve the social-emotional health of at-risk youth by developing skills to become resilient, compassionate, responsible, and successful members of the community through training shelter dogs to become more adoptable.
This is a five to six week program that meets three days per week in the facility. Twice per week, the teens work in pairs, collaborating with one another to train their dogs with the assistance of volunteers. The third day each week is spent engaging with guest speakers who work with animals to expose the youth to animal related careers such as shelter workers, veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, and dog groomers. Responsibility and leadership are an integral part of this program. Once participants have completed the program, they are allowed to return to following sessions as mentors or peer leaders.
Recently, the program was featured in a two-part segment of Shelter Life, a YouTube television series dedicated to public awareness of the efforts of animal shelters to help at-risk animals in our community. View clips from the segments, below:
To view the full segment, check out Pawsitive Impact Program - Part 1 and Pawsitive Impact Program - Part 2.
This program has been so successful, Probation reached out to groups in the community in an attempt to obtain a therapy dog for the facility and successfully acquired a Facility Assistance Dog through Canine Guardians.
Visit our Facility Assistance Dog Program page to learn more.