Founded in 1987, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit program benefiting adolescents and dogs whose purpose is to provide a therapeutic intervention for at-risk teens through dog obedience training. Sessions are held in the spring and fall.
Through a series of classes, volunteer instructors helps student trainers teach basic obedience commands to dogs selected from a local animal shelter. Dogs that participate in the program are available for adoption, and each dog is placed in their forever homes after graduation.
Suitable dogs are selected by the HALT program and medically and behaviorally screened. They are given a standard series of inoculations, neutered or spayed, micro-chipped and boarded at the class site.
The dogs get up to 8 hours of quality class time each week learning basic obedience skills from their student trainers. The dogs get additional socialization with other people and dogs at adoption events each week through the 4 week session.
Student trainers are adolescents from residential centers for treatment of substance abuse, behavioral or alienation problems. They are selected by the staff of their agency and are transported to the class site for the classes. The student trainer commits to one four-week course, meeting two times per week. Up to four agencies furnish student trainers to work with the group of dogs, training on different days.
The teens get an opportunity to develop a positive sense of accomplishment, self-worth and pride. They are given the chance to improve specific living skills such as assertiveness, patience, staying on task, communication and commitment. They get the opportunity to have positive experiences with dogs as pets, and the satisfaction of knowing they've saved a dog's life by participating in the program. They also learn about different career opportunities in animal related fields, responsible pet ownership, reason for pet over-population, and the importance of spay and neutering our pets.
In addition to looking for new homes for the dogs that go through our program, we are always looking for volunteers to help with classes, adoption events, and fundraisers. Volunteers must be at least 21 years old and have your own transportation.
H.A.L.T. is dependent on private donations, adoption fees, grants and volunteers for the program to exist. We welcome donations and memorial gifts to fund the program. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and your donations may be tax deductible.