Teacher’s Pet: A Rehabilitation Program For Troubled Youth And Shelter Dogs

By Kristy Stanford
CBS 62/CW50 Intern

Teacher’s Pet is an intervention program that pairs troubled youth with hard-to-adopt shelter dogs. The mission of Teacher’s Pet is to empower at-risk youth to improve in the areas of empathy, patience, impulse control, perseverance and hope.

Participants are paired with hard-to-adopt rescue dogs in order to increase the dogs’ chances of becoming adopted. The program is a multi-week workshop featuring positive, reward-based dog training and behavior modification.

The students work with the dogs on basic skills and basic commands so they can succeed at their new home. “They teach them everything they need to know about becoming a well-rounded dog,” said Nicole Herr, Program Facilitator and Board Member for Teacher’s Pet.

“A lot of these kids have a hard time, maybe let’s say in their human/ human relationships. So working with a dog is that relationship. It’s an amazing bond,” said Herr.

The kids learn to be more patient with their peers, family and definitely more patient with working with dogs. They also have a greater empathy and can understand the world outside of themselves.

“Teacher’s Pet taught me how to care for other living things, besides myself,” said student from Macomb Juvenile Center. “I don’t think I would be where I am today without them.”

The program has tremendously helped students willing to learn and grow.

“They heal each other,” Herr says.

For more information visit: Teacherspetmi.org. Watch our sister station’s CBS 62 Eye On Detroit story on Teacher’s Pet featured in the video box above.

Kristy Stanford is a Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. She is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University where she studied Electronic Media Film Studies and Comprehensive Communication. She enjoys doing interviews with different brands and businesses for her website KristyLoveMedia.com. Kristy also is an inspirational blogger and does photography and event-hosting on the side.

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