About Project Second Chance Monroe
Project Second Chance Monroe was founded in Fall 2008 by program director Marji McIntyre. This team effort includes various dog rescues, the Monroe County Youth Center, Pets for Vets, and other community organizers.
During our sessions, we pair abandoned dogs with incarcerated residents at the Youth Center. Together, the dogs and children embark on a journey toward a second chance in life. The dogs live in kennels next to the Center wherein they are fed, trained, groomed, and exercised by the residents.
During twice-weekly round tables, the children talk about they are feeling with the dogs, which leads to discussion of their own feelings and appropriate actions. They explore trust and responsibility.
Each session concludes with a graduation and finding “forever homes” for the canines. Students write letters to the adoptive families about the dogs and what they have experienced.
How we choose dogs for the program
PSC volunteers work with staff at the Animal Shelter to identify dogs that have the appropriate temperament and demeanor for working in the Youth Center environment. The dogs must be tolerant of other dogs, friendly toward all people (of both genders) and nonaggressive. Dogs with any type of bite history or aggression are not eligible for PSC, neither are dogs that have killed other animals or participated in dog fighting. All dogs must be up to date on all vaccinations and must be examined by a veterinarian prior to arriving at the Youth Center. Each dog will also be spayed or neutered before arrival.
What is done to ensure dog health
Project Second Chance volunteers are responsible for attending to any health issues that a dog may have during its stay at the Youth Center. Youth Center staff and residents involved with the program are responsible for reporting any observed health issues to PSC volunteers.
How are dogs trained
PSC is based on a six-week program. Training benchmarks are targeted for every two weeks. Each dog is expected to learn and demonstrate core skills on each level before advancing to the next level.