Programs Overview

Our comprehensive, community-based programs provide education and training, early intervention, advocacy and access to needed resources for people and animals in disadvantaged circumstances. We achieve these goals through three main programs: Youth Leadership (including Youth Leaders and Lifetime Bonds); Collaborative Justice (including Court Advocacy); and Court Case Dogs (including a new program VALOR for veterans). We also participate in community outreach events.

Court Case Dog Program

Chicago’s Court Case Dog Program started in January 2010 through the efforts of Safe Humane Chicago and its Court Advocacy program (a partnership with Chicago Police and Cook County Circuit Court), Best Friends Animal Society and Chicago Animal Care & Control (CACC). These organizations sought to establish a compassionate and more humane approach to a serious problem. Some of these dogs were held at CACC for two years or more. Because of our program and partnerships in the court system, this is no longer happening. Court Case Dogs are finding loving homes. "Court Case Dog" is a registered trademark of Safe Humane, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation doing business as Safe Humane Chicago.

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Court Advocacy

Community members follow court cases involving animal abuse of all kinds and help develop educational materials and information that promote understanding and effective intervention. These Court Advocates appear in court on behalf of the community and the victims, including all animal species.

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Lifetime Bonds

Lifetime Bonds programs provide opportunities for at-risk dogs and people to help one another, whether they live in under-resourced communities or are working toward re-entry into their communities from incarceration or from war. Program participants learn how to care for and socialize and train dogs by developing positive relationships with them and by using science-based, reward-based training techniques. They develop confidence and skills with Safe-Humane-approved ambassador or shelter dogs, and they learn about the many job opportunities in the pet industry.

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VALOR (Veterans Advancing Lives of Rescues) matches U.S. veterans in need with our Court Case Dogs in a structured 8-week program providing training, companionship, skills and camaraderie.

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Collaborative Justice

Collaborative Justice programs are partnerships of government agencies and community members that promote identification, arrest, prosecution, and effective sentencing of perpetrators of animal cruelty and to ensure, where possible, that the animal victims are placed in good homes. They also develop educational materials and collect evidence that promote understanding and effective intervention for designated audiences. Programs include Court Advocacy, Court Case Animals Program and Law Enforcement Training.

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Youth Leaders

Offered through participating Chicago Public Schools, the Youth Leaders for Safe Humane Chicago program is an elective that educates and certifies Chicago Public high school students as Safe Humane presenters and as ambassadors in disadvantaged communities. The teens educate peers and younger children in Chicago Public elementary schools about the safe and humane treatment of companion animals, why animal abuse of any kind is bad, why humane treatment is good, and how to set good examples.

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