Who You Know!!!
We want to share with you some of the stories of inspiration and motivation that make our area great! Because it is the people that make the difference in a community. The ones who go out of their way to help another, those who see a need and work tirelessly meet it.
Jo Simpson Is A Person You Should Know...
Jo is the director of the Echo Glen Children’s Center Canine Connections Pet Therapy Program.
This program partners with Snohomish County 4-H, a premier youth development program, using 4-H approved life skills curriculum.
Why Is What You Are Doing Important?
“I am a firm believer in second chances for kids!”
Fighting...Anger...Abuse....Neglect…Gangs...Violence…Mental health...PTSD trauma situations and now jail... We have kids here who have never known anything different.
Some are victims who need to build confidence and learn different methods to address problems, and have their needs met.
We give these youth the opportunity to plan behavior chains, create treatment models, journal their results and work toward turning dysfunction into effective rehabilitation.
What Are You Doing? Building a Second Chance at a Brighter Future.
These children are learning some of the life skills that it takes to care for another including: empathy, compassion, vulnerability, consistency. All components of building proper social relationships and making respectful changes in their lives.
In addition to their basic educational needs, they are learning marketable job skills in veterinary science, dog training, canine behavior, grooming, kennel care and business professions. We run a Doggy Daycare in the summer months.
How Does it Work? Each Session We Rescue the Death Row Dogs from Local Shelters…
There are 10 kids in the trainer program and an additional 4 are working in the kennel. We help about 150 to 160 Dogs per year.
These dogs have behavior problems, they might be ugly, boisterous, overbearing, even obnoxious animals that nobody wants or can handle.
The kids choose a dog to be theirs to teach boundaries, manners, obedience, life skills and address the dogs health and affection needs. Many are able to connect, as one in jail they identify with the dogs sorrow of being in jail.
At the end of a two month rehabilitation program these dogs must pass several tests including the AKC Canine Good Citizen test to qualify to be “Paroled”. The trainers are involved in the placement interviews with the dogs new family.
Rehabilitation is About Capturing the Moment and Learning by Doing…
Even in the stinky jobs of caring for these dogs there are valuable lessons… being open to instruction on the best way to dump the waste...might mean avoiding a stinky mess.
Tell us About the Success Stories….
As a community service, they raise a service dog for Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). These animals then go into the community to provide assistance to those in need.
We have kids that have gone on to WSU or Missouri Veterinary School after completing our program. Some have become gainfully employed as Vet Assistants, Groomers, Dog Trainers and Nurses.
What are Your Over the Top Moments?
That would have to be the testimonies of the kids who call back after they have left to say that they have gone on and used what they learned and to show appreciation for all they learned.
“I love the Light Bulb moments when they understand, connect with the information and apply it to themselves.”
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Either a Forensic Investigator in the Criminal Justice system or work in Wildlife Reserve doing rescue, I still might do that...
How can people help?
We need Dog Supplies: Treats, 6 foot leashes, toys that can be stuffed with treats, building and office supplies. All financial donations are appreciated and get put to work in the program.
Echo Glen Canine Connections 33010 SE 99th St., Snoqualmie WA 98065 or call 425-831-2717
Echo Glen Children's Center Canine Connections Pet Therapy Program...
Second Chances for Children, Second Chances for Dogs, Rehabilitation and Healing for Both!
Want to read more stories about who you should know...
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Image Credit: Dog in Rehabilitation by Echo Glen