Pets in the Hood is a program designed exclusively for “high risk” youth and their “high risk” pets. As we go about our day-to-day activities it is all too easy to forget or ignore what really goes on in that desperate, hellish place called The Hood.
There, as these kids grow, their only roll models are drug dealers and gang members. Many other kids are simply stuck in a poverty-stricken lifestyle where they see no escape, no future. It isn’t long before the hurt, the pain and then the anger set in. These children learn very quickly not only to hurt each other, but they practice these violent lessons on their subordinates: their pets. But, what about those who just don’t know any other way.
These children, like their “killer dogs” aren’t born bad, but without intervention, they certainly may turn out that way. We, as a community, need to make an attempt to reach some of these kids through something they care about, their pets – to show them positive alternatives to fighting their dogs in the park, and to the way they’ve been taught to view life. We can replace that desperation with a sense of accomplishment and pride, maybe for the first time.
Dog fighting is a crime, and most adults who do it know better and should be punished. But many youngsters don’t yet fully understand the rights and wrongs of what’s happening, and those are the ones we need to reach. We can’t just take their dogs away; tomorrow they’ll get another one. We have to come up with a carefully constructed curriculum that will give these kids and their dogs a second chance, and show them a positive alternative.
This program, once implemented, could be a weekly or bi-weekly depending on volunteers and support among the community. No cost to the kids, and their personal dog would be involved. If they don’t have their own, one will be provided by PAWS on a loan basis, during meetings only, so they may participate.
Panhandle Animal Welfare
752 Lovejoy Road | Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548
(850) 244-0196 | Fax
(850) 664-0445 |