Youth Offenders Train Dogs And Both Get A New Leash On Life

A local animal shelter is helping youth offenders rehabilitate.

For the past six weeks, youth offenders have dedicated two hours a day to training dogs. It's part of Mesa County Animal Services and the Department of Youth Corrections New Leash on Life Program. It pairs homeless dogs with kids in the system.

Most of these kids are in corrections for committing a series of property crimes, acts of violence against others and some are even sex offenders. Officials say this program plays a key role in their rehabilitation because it teaches them that they can control things without anger and violence.

For people like Lydia Reynolds, who's adopting a dog that went through the program, she's noticed a major change in her new pet's attitude.

For the young trainers, it's instilled new goals in life. One offender has dreams of one day working at the shelter.

This is the New Leash on Life Program's 7th year, and with graduation behind them it's time for these youth offenders to focus on the future, and the dogs to go home to their new owners.

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