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 using science-based, reward-based training techniques. 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 participate in positive, beneficial activities with dogs, such as dog agility and canine massage.  They are also taught about issues related to animal welfare and safety, such as pet population and animal abuse, 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
    • Youth 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 and other shelter dogs for transfer and adoption.
  • Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Services Program:  Modeled after the Illinois Youth Center program, juvenile probationers in Kane County participate in a 10-week program in which they are mentored by adult volunteers and help to improve the quality of life of shelter dogs.  At a broader level, these youth are exposed to important messages about compassion, empathy, and the connection between animal violence and human violence.  
  • Adult Reentry Program: At Chicago Animal Care and Control, participants from community re-entry programs, who clean the dog pavilions 24/7/365, work with our volunteers to bond with, socialize and train Court Case and other shelter dogs for transfer and adoption. They volunteer during their breaks two days each week
  • YMCA's Youth Safety & Violence Prevention (YSVP): At Chicago Animal Care and Control, youth learn to bond with, socialize and train shelter dogs for 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.