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Rogue Valley PAWS Program
About PAWS
The PAWS program (People & Animals Worth Saving) incorporates the principle of combining youth and animals in need, to create an innovative and remarkable example of the human-animal bond.  The program works with homeless dogs from the Josephine County Animal Shelter and pairs them with youth, who then obedience train, socialize, exercise, and prepare them for adoption in to local families.  The principles of positive reinforcement, compassion, and empathy are central to the program’s mission.  The program has been spearheaded by YCUC, Angi Sabin-Veek, of Bravo Unit, and it works with selected youth to train and socialize these homeless dogs for an average of 10 hours per week.  The project is a great way for youth to become invested in their community and to give back to their society. It also gives them an opportunity to learn positive social skills and provide community give-back while helping those forgotten members of our society, homeless dogs.
Since June of 2006, the PAWS program has placed 35 dogs with new families and has received strong support from the community.  The Josephine County Animal Shelter values the partnership created with OYA and continually expresses appreciation for the work that the youth have done for their organization.  Additionally, the PAWS Program received some national attention as it was recently invited to the national JJET (Juvenile Justice Educators and Trainers) forum in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to present a workshop for creative approaches to working with youth in the juvenile justice system.  This was an honor and a remarkable achievement for such a new program.

Project POOCH Connection
The PAWS program is inspired, created, and maintained through a positive working relationship with Project POOCH at MacLaren YCF.  Joan Dalton, founder of POOCH, has worked closely with PAWS and has provided invaluable guidance, education, and support to the program.  PAWS continues to work closely with allof  their partners to creatively produce new approaches and refine their program to best meet the needs of the animals in their care and to have youth involved in ways that can build skills and teach care and concern.  Overall, Rogue Valley has seen the PAWS program reach youth in need, in a unique and challenging way, and has proven to be a success and a link for both the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility and community.

For more information . . .
Contacts:    Angi Sabin-Veek at Rogue Valley.