Dog Training Program Helps At-Risk Youth

A unique program in San Juan County is using rescued dogs to turn around the lives of young people on the wrong path.

A unique program in San Juan County is using rescued dogs to turn around the lives of young people on the wrong path. The program was recently recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

But does it work? Juvenile services employee Bowen Belt says it does. He says program participants are far less likely to return to prison than the general population. “One, we can train that animal to be adopted. And two, teaching, the kids we have here along the way some things about themselves and some life lessons,” he said.

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  1. Community Service and Social Responsibility are cornerstones of every Rite of Passage program. Our Logan Peak Residential program continually searches for new, unique ways to help our youth to give back to their community. Recently, Logan Peak partnered with a local organization that engages our youth while providing an opportunity for them to perform meaningful service in their community.

    Once a week, our students volunteer at the Cache Humane Society, a local animal shelter in Logan. When they first started to volunteer, the shelter was very understaffed and needed a lot of assistance. Since their service at the Humane Society, their efforts have been felt by the few staff who work there, along with the many animals. Some of the responsibilities they have been given include: washing pet bowls, folding blankets, sweeping and mopping kennels and of course petting and walking the animals.

    Our students really enjoy this opportunity and are excited to volunteer at the Humane Society each week. One young man especially loves taking care of the rabbits and vows to adopt all of them when he graduates. The students also enjoy seeing the difference they have made, even if it is just taking one dog for a walk, petting a cat, or giving an animal a clean bowl. Volunteering at the Cache Humane Society has helped Logan Peak youth realize that they can make a positive difference in the world.

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    Providing information and updates on how Rite of Passage fulfills our mission of improving the lives of youth, families and communities.

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