Dog training program helps San Juan County at risk kids | News
A unique program in San Juan County uses rescued dogs to turn around the lives of young people.
Now it's getting national attention. It’s been almost two years since Armondo Billie and Harley Bassett — both 17 — first entered the juvenile detention center in San Juan County.
It was also around this time they started training dogs in a program called Kids for Canines.
“Well they bring in shelter dogs and we take them in 8 to 10 weeks and train them to the best of our ability and we advertise them and try to get them adopted out,” said Bassett.
Bowen Belt works for juvenile services department at the detention center and said they have two main goals for the program.
“One, we can train that animal to be adopted. And two, teaching, the kids we have here along the way some things about themselves and some life lessons,” he said.
The program was recently given a significant Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.
Belt said half of the kids in the program haven’t been back to jail.
“Giving them steps is giving me steps also,” said Billie.
The dogs and all the supplies come from the Aztec Animal Shelter.
The program doesn’t cost the county anything.
“This is their second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance,” said Bassett.