This is a great idea. The use the dog program in prisons around the country and they are among some of the most successful ideas to help people. It's not about job training so much as it is about learning to be a better person.
Put any kid with any dog and you'll see two happy faces.
And if that kid and that dog share histories of abuse and abandonment, you'll see a bond develop that changes both of their lives.
No one could be more pleased about this than Richie, a freckle-faced fifth grader, and Fanny, his furry, four-legged friend at an Englewood dog shelter.
"Everybody says she's a hard dog to teach," Richie said. "Now, since she knows me, she allows me to calm down, and she's like not scared to learn her tricks because she knows me."
Richie and the other kids in this program that pairs at-risk children with shelter dogs don't give their last names or the cities where they live to protect their privacy and maintain their safety.
Once a week for the past couple of months, Richie, along with a half-dozen or so other Denver-area kids, referred by the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, visit the Englewood headquarters of Freedom Service Dogs to work with the animals.
With the help of a certified trainer, the children teach the dogs tricks such as rolling over, fetching and shaking paws and in turn learn lessons of their own: patience, confidence, compassion.
Rocky Mountain News