Dog News

Children Help Dogs in Need by Participating in Summer Dog Camp

by Katherine

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The Grace Foundation of Northern California in El Dorado Hills has started a summer dog camp where they pair up children with rescue dogs pulled from local shelters. The children participating in this program are 12 years old or older and are responsible for training the dogs and helping increase the animals’ adoption chances.

Beth DeCaprio and children participating in the summer dog camp. Photo Credit: CBS Sacramento
Beth DeCaprio and children participating in the summer dog camp.
Photo Credit: CBS Sacramento

The idea was to run the summer camp for just one week and have 10 children participate in the training and care of the shelter dogs, but the foundation opened three more spots to welcome low-income children who wanted to participate in the program.

“One of our missions here at Grace is to include kids who cannot financially afford to attend camps,” said Executive Director Beth DeCaprio. “This year we were able to offer 3 spots to these great kids.”

The summer camp is an excellent tool to teach children compassion and proper ways to interact and care for a dog.

“We originally planned to have the camp run for just one week, but the kids brought the dogs along so far in just one week, we extended it out to two weeks in order to continue their good work,” said DeCaprio. “Next summer we absolutely will have more weeks of dog camp!”

The camp starts off by having camp organizers and participants visit local shelters to select dogs that will be trained and prepared for adoption. Children learn how to evaluate a dog physically and behaviorally, how to properly care and how to train the pet. Every day, camp children socialize, teach, and play with their canine camp buddies.

“[The children] have taken them and have really just transformed these animals into wonderful pets that will have a chance at a forever home and a really good life,” DeCaprio told CBS Sacramento in a televised news report.

After the rescue dogs are trained and ready for adoption The Grace Foundation hosts adoptions fairs on the Saturday following the camp hoping the rescue dogs will find their forever loving families and homes.

“Next summer we absolutely will have more weeks of dog camp!”¬†said DeCaprio. “Right now the plan is to continue to have this program run in the form of six week blocks meeting all day on Saturdays, as well as run topic specific clinics, like health and wellness or behavior training, that will run during the week. These camps and clinics will be run for both adults and kids separately.”

If you want to learn more on the summer dog camps please visit