Cape Town project pairs vulnerable teens with shelter dogs to empower both
A Cape Town organisation is working to uplift both vulnerable children and dogs without homes.
The Underdog Project teaches at-risk youths how to train shelter dogs, in a mutually beneficial programme.
The dogs become more joyful and have improved chances of being adopted into loving homes because of the training.
In return, the young kids learn valuable life skills such as empathy, compassion, responsibility and mutual respect.
Programmes range from 12 weeks to six months and include various activities and workshops, explains managing director Nina Greyling.
The project is based in Hout Bay and runs a mobile unit which helps spread their outreach work.
We pair a child with a shelter dog and we teach the youths how to train dogs using positive reinforcement dog-training techniques. We then follow this up with a classroom activity that has a humane education focus.Nina Greyling, Managing director - Underdog Project
For many of our youth, our programme acts as a therapeutic intervention.Nina Greyling, Managing director - Underdog Project
All the youth and dogs are receiving a range of benefits. It's a special project because it's mutually beneficial to both of these vulnerable groups.Nina Greyling, Managing director - Underdog Project
Greyling says the project has seen the remarkable impact it's had. However, donations are needed in order to keep going.
Some of these youth have never had a positive interaction with animals.Nina Greyling, Managing director - Underdog Project
The dogs in our programme are getting adopted faster.Nina Greyling, Managing director - Underdog Project
Listen to learn more about the local initiative and how you can help:
Thumbnail image: Underdog Project on Facebook.
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