Lifetime Bonds

Lifetime Bonds programs provide opportunities for at-risk youth and at-risk dogs to help one another.

Youth in disadvantaged communities learn how to care for and socialize and train them using positive, reward-based training techniques.  They also get to participate in positive, beneficial activities with them, like dog agility and canine massage.  

They develop confidence and skills by working with Safe-Humane-approved ambassador dogs and extend those skills by training shelter and Court Case dogs.  They are also taught about issues related to animal welfare and safety, like pet overpopulation and dog fighting, and learn about the many job opportunities available in the pet industry.

  • Illinois Youth Center Program: Young men, ages 13-19, in custody at IYC in Chicago participate in a three-month-long curriculum. They work closely with adult volunteers, learning to bond with, socialize and train shelter dogs, saving their lives and making them more adoptable.  Delivery of this program was made possible in part by a grant from National Canine Research Council, The Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation and The Wanda Muntwyler Foundation.
  • Internship Reentry Program: At Chicago Animal Care and Control, youth from IYC Chicago who participated in the program while in custody work as interns alongside volunteers in our Court Case Dogs Program to bond with, socialize and train Court Case Dogs for transfer and adoption.
  • Neighborhood Training Classes: In disadvantaged communities, youth and their dogs participate in six-week-long dog-training classes to teach the youth and their dogs how to be good citizens and Safe Humane ambassadors.