By Pam Francis-Tuss
A five-week program that meets three days per week, Adolescent Learning Powered by Humane Advocacy (ALPHA) pairs incarcerated teens at the Sacramento Youth Detention Facility with shelter dogs for the purpose of training. Twice a week, with the assistance of a team of volunteers, the teens work in pairs, at my direction, collaborating with one another to train their dog. The third day each week is spent engaging with guest speakers who work with animals to expose the youth to animal related careers such as shelter workers, veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, and dog groomers. Responsibility and leadership are an integral part of the program and, once participants have completed it, they are allowed to return to future sessions as mentors. Read more.