Being a dog lover and advocate for the welfare of animals, I like to recognize different organizations that share the same goals I do: to end the cruelty towards animals and educate society about the plight of neglected animals who have no voice of their own.
These two organizations not only improve the lives of dogs, but also help improve the lives of the people that interact with these animals.
Crossroads Campus is a newer 501©(3) non-profit in Nashville, Tennessee. They bring people from all walks of life to achieve their mission of transforming the lives of people and animals. Crossroads Campus has an outreach program, Caring Connections, which brings together youth in need of healing, enhanced empathy, and the building of their self-worth. They do this with the help of rescued puppies and dogs that need socialization, basic positive reinforcement training, and need to develop trust to be ready for adoption. These youth are typically in state custody or are aging out of it. With the help of professional dog trainers, veterinarians, and motivational speakers, Crossroads helps empower these youth to be better members of society and helps find these pets a forever loving home.
A similar organization, the Prison Trained K-9 Companion Program, which I am personally involved in, was established through the Colorado Correctional Industries. The adoption fees charged for each dog support the program. This program trains dog for a variety of tasks ranging from a regular house pet to a drug-sniffing dog. For most dogs this program was their last chance. These dogs are taught how to act around people and other dogs. They are house and crate trained, taught to respond to commands, and go through confidence building by using agility equipment. This program gives Colorado prison inmates the opportunity to help train and care for the dogs. Working with the dogs helps the inmates learn skills that can help them find jobs when they are released, learn coping skills, work on difficult personal issues and helps build their overall character.
One inmate I spoke with was incarcerated at the age of 17. He told me , “All I wanted to do was do drugs and cause trouble.” When I spoke with him when he was age 33, his plans after his release were to find work training dogs. He said, “My family is proud of me and I have value and a purpose in life now.”
Both programs have the ability of making a huge impact on every animal and person involved – giving them each the opportunity for a better life. Lisa at Crossroads Campus is also thrilled about the addition of her new Evolution Self Serve Dog Wash which will advance their mission of becoming self-sustaining. I’m thrilled that my dog wash company can be a part of helping improve the lives both animals and people.