Cat Named Andy Shares “Deep Thoughts” in Portland, Oregon

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Adopted cat Andy is the star of punny window paintings

(Sherwood, OR)—When Portland, Ore., resident Hayley Cassatt adopted her cat Andy from the Cat Adoption Team (CAT) in 2011, she had no plans to make Andy a star. In fact, she hadn’t anticipated adopting Andy at all.

“I was looking around for a male orange kitty, and Andy didn’t quite fit my match,” says Hayley, “But when I saw her I fell in love.”

Although Andy was “a little scared and a little weird,” the two made an instant connection. It felt like love at first sight, but Hayley wanted a second opinion before committing to Andy. She called her dad.

“I said, ‘Dad, I can’t leave without this cat; she’s my baby,’” Hayley recalls. “He said to go for it, so I took her home.”

It wasn’t the first time Hayley had looked to her father for support. The two were quite close, sharing a love of puns, cartoons, and—of course—cats. An award-winning photographer, designer, and cartoonist, Hayley’s father also considered himself a “cat butler” to the Cassatt family cats. When he passed away from cancer in 2013, Hayley wanted to do something unique in his honor.

“Andy always sits in this window and I thought it would be so great if I put up some puns as an homage to my father,” Hayley shares.

An art teacher and professional artist herself, Hayley put up Andy’s first “deep thought” in the window of her home in Southeast Portland. Since then, she’s continued to create window art with Andy as the centerpiece. When she noticed passers-by taking photos, she started an Instagram account (instagram.com/deepthoughtsbyandy) so that people could see more of Andy and tag her in their posts.

Hayley says she usually picks puns or topical sayings for the window. Things like holidays, current events, and pop culture inspire the artwork, which changes every couple of weeks.

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Hayley doesn’t publicize her address, but enjoys when people happen upon her window, smile, and take photographs of Andy. Some people even seek out the special window just to see what Andy’s been thinking.

“My dad would have really loved how excited people are,” she says. “It really makes me happy to pay him tribute.”

In addition to honoring her father, Hayley likes the chance to be playful with her cat too. Her advice to others seeking a feline companion is to “do something fun with them.” She adds that it’s important to adopt. “There’s a lot of cats out there that don’t have homes. I don’t feel like a home is a home without a cat.”

As for how Andy feels about all the attention? Well, you’ll just have to find her window and see for yourself!

Room to Roam

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Keeping cats and wildlife safe — in style

We love our feline companions. So much so that it’s easy to forget they are natural predators, and those hunter instincts have can deadly consequences for other feathered and furry creatures in the neighborhood.

The Portland-area Audubon Society reports that nearly half of the injured wildlife cases brought to its welfare centers involve cat-related injuries. To help address this issue, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, Portland Audubon Society, and Portland-area humane societies and animal shelters partner in an annual Catio Tour.

Now in its 6th year, the Catio Tour is a tour of homes showcasing enclosures created to provide safe spaces for cats to enjoy much-needed outdoor time while protecting wildlife and songbirds.

“We’re not saying keep your cat indoors,” insists FCCO Executive Director Karen Kraus. The goal of the Catio Tour is to inspire people to build their own catio. Protected outdoor spaces for cats, Kraus says, are a win-win. Catios protect pets from cars, birds of prey, and coyotes. Kraus points out that cats can also be preyed upon.

Catio tours are still a new idea, Kraus says, but similar events have caught on in other communities such as Seattle and Santa Cruz. The first year of the tour in Portland, organizers didn’t know what to expect. But signups were overwhelming, and this year’s tour will have about a thousand attendees viewing around a dozen Catios. “Many people try to see them all,” Kraus says, while some opt to visit select properties.

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Kraus hopes the biggest takeaway from the self-guided tour is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to create appropriate outdoor experiences for family cats. The goal is to inspire people to build their own backyard feline spaces.

Catio budgets range “from frugal to fabulous, DIY to designer,” Kraus says. “If you don’t have a lot of money you can build a catio.” Some are elaborate, with elevated areas and diverse sources of stimuli. Others are simple, chicken coop-like structures on a back porch.

“It doesn’t have to be expensive,” Kraus assures. “This is stuff you can do at home. Whatever you can envision you can afford.” Almost all catios are built from supplies available at most hardware, garden or farm-supply outlets.

The Catio Tour is a natural for a community that cares about nature and the environment. Kraus hopes attendees will come away from the tour with the feeling that anyone can help cats and wildlife share a better balance. “All of us play a role in this,” she says.

Portland Catio Tour * Saturday, Sept 8 * $10; benefits FCCO * feralcats.com.


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William Kennedy is a freelance writer who lives with his wife and daughter in downtown Eugene, Oregon. He's had many furry friends in his lifetime. Currently, he's tolerated by a black cat named Midnight.

Ask an Animal Lawyer with Elizabeth Holtz

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Q:  My neighbor moved but left his dog behind. The dog has been with us for months. Could the neighbor claim the dog as his if he returns?

First, a big thank you for stepping up and caring for this abandoned dog. If you hadn’t intervened, the dog might not be alive today. Generally, a person who abandons his dog and moves away loses the right to his “property.”  That’s right — in the United States legal system, and most legal systems around the world, animals are classified as property.

It may come as a surprise that animals are still categorized as property considering that science and commonsense tell us our companion animals are individuals with unique personalities. Most of us consider them to be members of our families. I doubt you would be as worried that your neglectful neighbor might one day want his couch back.

Abandoning an animal is a crime under most states’ cruelty laws. While animals are still considered property, the law is slowly changing. The Animal Legal Defense Fund recently filed a groundbreaking lawsuit on behalf of an Oregon horse named Justice that challenges animals’ status as property and argues that animals have the legal right to sue their abusers in court. Advances are also happening in the area of companion animal custody.

Recognizing the profound bond people develop with their companion animals, some judges are approaching companion animal custody cases much differently than they would disputes about a car or TV. Judges are increasingly considering which home is in the best interests of a dog or cat rather than approaching the case from a strict property analysis.

Your situation is much more straightforward. If your neighbor hadn’t moved but instead was hospitalized for a long period of time or forced to leave for reasons beyond his or her control, then things might be different. But as stated above, if your neighbor abandoned the dog, then you should be in the clear. Of course, nothing in life is certain. Even if the facts are on your side, someone could still contest custody. If you do find yourself in a dispute, I recommend consulting an attorney to ensure that the dog stays with the person who has stepped up and cared for her — you.

It’s also a good idea to keep records demonstrating that you are now the dog’s caregiver. For example, receipts documenting veterinary care, food, medicine, and toys provided will bolster your case if it comes to that. Licensing and microchipping your new friend under your name is also a smart move.

Thank you again for your compassion. I hope your new best friend has a long and happy life with you!


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Elizabeth Holtz works with the Animal Legal Defense Fund. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, she began rescuing injured and abandoned animals as a very young child, though she admits her mother did much of the work.

 

Celebrating Petlandia: The Wacky, Wonderful, Happy, Humane Place We Call Home

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We live in a special region. If you love mountains, forests, deserts, rivers, beaches, or the smell of roasting coffee beans, the Northwest is your happy place. But if you’re an animal lover?  This is paradise.

Where else but Portland would the city’s largest parade feature a 185-pound English Mastiff as the Canine Grand Marshal? And it wasn’t just Diesel the Mastiff presiding over the Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade — a full royal court of canines bested 20 other finalists in a fierce competition followed by a festive coronation at the Heathman Hotel.

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Of course, the canine court on convertibles aren’t our only famous parade pups. The dreamy, cotton-candy-hued Pitties in Pink float makes an appearance at most local parades, too, because we’re a community that puts our bow-legged, jowly-faced pibbles in rosy onesies and tutus for all to adore.

In the Northwest, there’s too much fun to be had — we don’t take life too seriously. And we like to bring our furry family members along for the good times. That’s why the pages of this magazine so often feature our stunning array of pet-friendly hotels and vacation rentals, the pubs where you can bring your pup along for a pint and pizza, and the world’s first dog tap house – Fido’s.

We know how to have a good time. But we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves when there’s a problem to solve or a need to meet.

The Humane Society of the United States consistently ranks Oregon second in the nation for its growing roster of animal-friendly laws and humane-minded lawmakers. (California ranks first.)

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Our animal shelters also have some of the highest save rates in the nation, thanks to the organizations that comprise the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland. They’ve dedicated years to a life-saving agenda of high-volume spay/neuter services, adoption promotions, and networking to get all homeless pets the medical, behavioral, and social support to land them in their forever homes.

This is a community where people roll out of bed on Saturday, chug a home-brewed kombucha, grab a locally-roasted coffee, and head out to build a free fence for a chained dog, distribute food to the pets of people experiencing homelessness, or stand on a busy corner gathering signatures for a worthy cause.

We’re different here. And that’s good.

Petlandia, we salute you. The following two articles, we celebrate you — the wacky, wonderful, happy, humane place we call home.

- Michelle Blake

Recreation Mecca for People and Pets

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Around here, whether we’re into snowshoeing or savasana, we often include our furry friends in the adventure.  Here’s a sampling of our regional bounty, from the playful to the practical.

These Shoes Were Made for (Dog) Walking

Petlandia is perfectly perched within easy playtime proximity to mountains, beaches, deserts, and rivers. Naturally it is also home to companies that make everything from running shoes and water socks to insulated parkas.

Now one local company is offering gear for the most popular outdoor adventure: walking with dogs! The Reshod shoe is built to protect walkers from the elements — or even their dogs' paws — whether traversing forest trails or neighborhood sidewalks. 

Portland walking coach and shoe designer Carmen Jackinsky says her Reshod design protects the tops of feet in case they get tromped on, and has a patented midsole that lets walkers easily shift their weight to counteract tugs from an exuberant pooch. Combined with treads designed to grip on slippery surfaces without trapping debris and an even-keeled “zero-drop” footbed for smooth strides, these great new kicks just might become a NW staple.

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Take it to the mat

At Purringtons Cat Lounge, yogis share the mat with adoptable cats for an hour of all-levels yoga followed by a meditative session of lap-warming, purrs, and head bumps. At the lounge on Portland’s NE MLK Boulevard — where visitors can order wine, coffee, and snacks in the cafe — staff say yoga with cats is more than a novelty. 

Purringtons helps cats find homes while encouraging people to relax and socialize among feline friends. They say it’s about joy, happy energy, and “lighting the fire of compassion.” Sunday evening classes offer a warm fuzzy way to prepare for the week ahead.

At PuppYoga in rural Forest Grove, yoga includes warm fuzzies from round-bellied puppies. Trainer Kristin Tarnowski raises assistance dogs, starting their specialized training and socialization almost as soon as they’re born. She saw a chance to socialize pups while treating visitors to adorable wiggles and cuddles, and PuppYoga was born.

Puppies arrive in a cart, like a special delivery of puppy breath and cuddles. Instructors lead classes through puppy-centric asanas like balancing in tree pose while cradling a wiggly pup.

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Rover-Friendly Romps

We also love our fun runs and walks infused with canine cheer. Many local animal charities offer dog-friendly events for all fitness levels. The biggest — Oregon Humane’s Doggy Dash — draws thousands of dog lovers to McCall Waterfront Park each year. Every May, people and pooches walk or run, eat breakfast, shop, play in fountains and doggie pools, and socialize in pure Petlandia style.

During warm-weather months, Animal Aid hosts a variety of pet-centered fitness events. Fitness Fur All features a mix of free and donation-based events including yoga with or without cats, a Bark-be-que, animal massage lessons, and a morning trek through Mt. Tabor. Offerings also include classes like pet nutrition and CPR/First Aid.

Resources:

AnimalAidPDX.org

OregonHumane.org

PuppYoga.com

PurringtonsCatLounge.com

Reshod.com 

- Michelle Blake

Spotlight on...Chiweenies

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

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Size: Small, 3-11 lbs.

Grooming needs: Minimal to Medium, Depends on coat

Exercise: Moderate

Environment: Indoor, Walks Outside

Temperament:  Bold, Playful, Stubborn

Life Expectancy:  12- 20 years

Interesting Fact:  One motivator for his hybrid mix was to reduce the risk of back problems that can be occur in Dachshunds. 

Appearance:  These little ones can have coats that range from short and smooth to medium, long or wiry. The coat may be solid or bi-colored. You’ll see a variety of colors in Chiweenies, including a solid black, chocolate, red or fawn or combinations such as black and tan, chocolate and red and fawn and tan. They’re built long and low to the ground, but not as elongated as a purebred Doxie. They can sport the prick ears of a Chihuahua or the drop ears of a Dachshund, and may have a Chihuahua’s domed head or a more pointed snout like a Chihuahua or pointed snout like a Dachshund. 

Personality:  Temperament is partially inherited for all dogs, so if you’re adopting a puppy from the shelter, try to meet the mom! Chiweenies are happy with their people and a true lap dog in size and preference. They like to cuddle and are affectionate and devoted. This can go a little too far and they can be jealous when their person interacts with other people or pets, although many prove to be easy-going and sociable. This breed tends to be bold and take charge. Although small, they still make good guard dogs as they will bark at disturbances. 

Common Health Problems:  Chiweenies can be prone to hypoglycemia. Dental disease can also be a concern, particularly in the dogs whose heads and faces more resemble a Chihuahua. And while they’re bred to have fewer back problems than Doxies, some Chiweenies can develop degenerative disc disease. To manage this risk, try to keep them from jumping. They can run and play to their hearts’ content, but it’s wise to add some safety to their routine, especially around obstacles like stairs and beds.

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Best Match:  As both breeds are prone to barking, Chiweenies can be more vocal than is practical for apartment living.  Because of their tendency to develop strong bonds with just one or two people, they’re not the first choice for larger families, and they should always be supervised around small children. Their best match is an adopter who will enjoy taking them for about an hour of daily activity such as hiking, swimming or just a walk or jog. Activity can help manage weight, and being overweight can increase the risk of back problems or other health issues. The Chiweenie can make excellent travel companions as they are small in size and love to be with their people. 

Featured Adoptable:  Snickers is an active, sassy Chiweenie with a big personality! She is a 2 year old young lady who loves cats, dogs and kids over 10 years old. She also enjoys car rides, cuddling, and playing. She wants to play with toys and play tag with other dogs. She’s at a rescue in Aloha, Oregon, and is looking forward to joining a pack soon! Visit http://sshcr.rescueme.org or contact (503) 459-7186. 


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Megan Noes lives in New York City, with her husband, Jacob, Frenchie Bulldog, Nono, and a revolving door of foster kittens. She works for a major animal welfare organization and loves her former home in the Pacific Northwest.

Yes! Yes! to Nono the foster dad

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We’re head over tails for this member of Spot Magazine’s extended family. Meet Nono, the French Bulldog and foster dad extraordinaire.

When Nono’s mom isn’t creating artwork and breed profiles for Spot’s “Matchmaker” series, Megan Noes is managing the kitten nursery at New York City’s ASPCA. During kitten season, when itty-bitty orphans fill the cages, Megan often takes her adorable work home with her.

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That’s how she discovered Nono’s superpower. “I didn't know if he'd do well with kittens because he likes to roughhouse and is very interested in adult cats he sees,” Megan says. “But we tried it with him on leash and he was very polite. So we just kept them supervised and he does great with them. Now they are his little buds!”

Now a treasured part of the shelter’s life-saving team, Nono has fostered six litters — 17 tiny kittens in all. His gift has also made him a media darling — in recent months he’s been celebrated by national news outlets and humans everywhere, including all of us at Spot.

Photo credits:  ASPCA

Pawternity Leave for pet parents

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Before you get too excited, this leave is for employees at the Scandinavian pet food company, Musti Group. Roughly 90% of the company’s 1500 employees have pets, and now they can get three days of paid leave when they adopt a new four-legged family member.

Musti CEO David Ronnberg, now everyone’s dream boss, says, “Adopting a pet is a significant decision and changes everyday life considerably. We want to support our employees during their first days with the new family member and ensure that they can enjoy those precious moments to the fullest.”

Meanwhile, here in the US, where only 12% of workers get paid paternity leave, don’t hold your breath for pawternity leave.

Spin the compass, and Get OUT!

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Best Bets for NW Adventure

It’s no secret, the Pacific Northwest is a mecca of amazing pet-friendly places. Wherever your whims take you this summer, these wonderful, Fido-friendly hot spots are fantastic options that promise great adventure and wonderful memories.

Head East

Bennington Properties — Sunriver

The Bennington family puts the love in vacationing with your dog. With classy dog-friendly homes and lots of fun activities, you’re sure to make memories that last a lifetime. Visit Sun River and enjoy Yappy Hour snacks and beverages while your pups romp and tussle with their “vacation friends.” Check out the Pet Parade during the Day celebrations. There’s also the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Like biking? There bike trailer rentals for the dog!

Cooper Spur Mountain Resort — Mt. Hood

Visiting Cooper Spur Mountain Resort is a cozy getaway. The pet-friendly resort has all the amenities, plus barbeque grills, picnic areas, and an on-site restaurant. All of this surrounded by the majesty of Mt. Hood National Forest.

Head West  

Idyllic Oregon Beach Houses — Tierra Del Mar

If long quiet walks away from city crowds are to your liking, this will feel like a slice of dog-loving heaven. Both the Pier St. and Guardenia St. houses live up to the idyllic name, with accommodations for pooches and nine to ten people, all just a blink from the beach in a quiet neighborhood. Enjoy walks on the beach, watching seals and winged wildlife, while your dogs romp happily alongside.

Surfsand Resort — Cannon Beach

Fireplaces. Balconies. Haystack Rock. This resort has a lot to offer pet lovers, and half the rooms are pet friendly. Surfsand throws in dog-savvy extras like pet beds, towels and sheets, dishes, doggie bags, and placemats, and tasty treats whenever your pup pops into the lobby. In the fall, the resort hosts a dog show to raise money for the Clatsop County Animal Shelter.

Head North

Tranquil-A-Tree — White Salmon, WA

What? A tree house you can take your dog to? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Tranquil-A-Tree — a dog-friendly two-story log cabin suspended in the firs. Enjoy the pleasures of taking in the nature and beauty around you, hiking and birdwatching, relaxing in the hot tub, and more.

Sou’wester — Seaview, WA

Who hasn’t seen the vintage camp trailers that look like rolling toasters and thought how cool it would be to stay in one? Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort invites you to check that one off your bucket list — with dog in tow. Keep the vintage vibe going by borrowing the resort’s bicycles or vinyl records, or indulge in a little pampering with massage and bodywork. Attractions include miles of beach, hiking, museums, lighthouses, and funky thrift stores.

Staycations

Hotel Monaco — Downtown Portland

The uber dog-friendly (dare we say dog-crazy) Hotel Monaco in the heart of downtown actually employs a Director of Pet Relations to guarantee Fido gives them two paws up. Perks include no pet fees, no weight or size restrictions, and no limit to how many furry friends can join you. And how about a nightly dog-friendly wine reception? This is a staycation you’ll surely dig.

International Rose Test Garden — Portland

What good is it to live in the City of Roses without enjoying its signature flower? Set high in the hills above the city in Washington Park above the Oregon Zoo, visits to the garden are free and boast scenic views, rose variety, scents and colors beyond the imagination. Perfect for a picnic, and all of it dog friendly.

Lucky Labrador Brewing Company — Portland

Lucky Lab is a Portland fixture with its four locations and incredible dog-centric vibe. What more would you expect with a dog breed in the name? How about philanthropy? Yep, the Lucky Lab is into that too, presenting an annual dog wash to benefit DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital. When looking to enjoy a brew and bite, make it your summer goal to take the pup and visit dog-loving pubs on Hawthorne, Quimby, Capital Hwy and Killingsworth.

McMenamins — everywhere

This NW favorite has locations from Seattle to Eugene and in between, and the grounds and restaurant patios of many are dog friendly. Just west of Portland, the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove boasts lush, scenic grounds, and seasonal outdoor eating.  Just east of the city is pet-friendly Edgefield, with exquisite sprawling grounds. Each location offers craft beers and unique art that tells the stories of the area. 

The Oregon Garden — Silverton

Imagine 80 acres of lush botanical gardens, something for everyone, and all pet friendly. A short drive to Silverton takes you to this gardener’s paradise. Enjoy photography, geocaching, and learn about sustainable farming while strolling the fabulous grounds.

Hike the ‘Hood

If you’re looking to clock some miles under your hiking boots this summer, there are plenty of dog-friendly destinations close at hand. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (Sellwood) has miles of paved and unpaved hiking trails with views of the native forest, wetlands, and the Willamette River. Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Terwilliger Blvd) boasts bridges, a wetland boardwalk, shelters, exhibits, wildlife, and miles of multi-surface trails. Forest Park is a gem in the city, with more than 5,000 acres of vistas, views, and hiking galore.

Head OUT

Oregon State Parks

Most Oregon parks are pet friendly. Check website for information on day facilities, campgrounds, trailheads, and more. If you have time to book well in advance, consider a dog-friendly yurt or cabin at one of 22 campgrounds. Many activities are available at various locations, including hiking, wildflower viewing, beach walks, educational talks, biking, and swimming.

Learn more

Benningtonproperties.com

CooperSpur.com

Hike the ‘Hood — PortlandOregon.gov/parks

IdyllicBeachHouse.com

LuckyLab.com

McMenamins.com

Monaco-Portland.com

OregonGarden.org

OregonStateParks.org

SouwesterLodge.com

SurfSand.com

TreeHouseTranquilaTree.com


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A Portland native, Kennedy Morgan has been around dogs her entire life – from the multitude of strays near the country home of her youth to the crew she calls her own now. Vegas, her retired agility superstar (Great Dane!) has been her primary inspiration for all things dog in the last decade, including her passion for writing.

Homeless Dogs + Incarcerated Youth = 25 years of success

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Life for an incarcerated teenager is the picture of uncertainty: will he get caught in a cycle of repeat incarcerations, or will he somehow gain the skills and emotional maturity to live successfully on the outside?

A shelter dog’s life is uncertain too, even with the high adoption rates in our region.

For a quarter-century, one local nonprofit has brought these two populations together with groundbreaking results for both. Oregon-grown and nationally-recognized Project POOCH is celebrating 25 years of rehabilitating incarcerated youth while transforming “unadoptable” dogs into desirable companions. 

“The human-animal bond is what we promote,” says Joan Dalton, founder of the Woodburn, OR-based nonprofit that matches youth at MacLaren Correctional Facility with dogs from local shelters. The facility houses and educates males under 25 who are convicted of crimes ranging from misdemeanors to the most serious felonies.

Dalton founded POOCH in 1993 while serving as vice-principal of Lord High School at MacLaren.  At the time, there was a handful of programs that used the human-animal bond to rehabilitate adult prisoners, but, Dalton says, “Nobody had tried it with juveniles.” She risked nearly everything to pursue her vision, including her home, which she sold to launch the program — starting with just one youth and one dog.

How It Works

Individual youth are paired with a rescued dog and a professional dog trainer and behaviorist. For the youth, Dalton explains, one-on-one work with the dog often addresses the animal’s possible background of neglect, resulting in a strong therapeutic bond that, to date, has changed the lives of hundreds of dogs and young men. Dalton proudly points to the program’s zero recidivism rate. Impressive all by itself, the numbers are even more astounding considering that the national average is 25 to 40 percent.

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To be eligible, youth offenders must meet rigorous requirements, including an interview, an exemplary institutional history, and no record of animal abuse. The program’s comprehensive syllabus teaches patience, compassion, and commitment, along with bookkeeping, computer skills, grooming and boarding operations. The project’s fundraising ventures raise money to support POOCH and other corrections programs serving dogs and at-risk youth, while also helping youth pay restitution and child support.

Along with learning the hard skills of running a business, POOCH participants experience social and emotional growth. “In the past, I used to not be concerned with much besides my own needs,” writes one anonymous youth. “But I realize this wasn’t very healthy for me. By working and being with these dogs, I find myself caring more and more about how they are and how they’re progressing in their training. I also think about how they’re doing every day that I’m away from them.”

As the program gained recognition, researchers took note of its success. In survey results, MacLaren staff reported improved respect for authority, social interaction, and leadership skills among POOCH participants. According to Sandra Merriam, PhD, of Pepperdine University, “Program youth interviewed reported that they felt they had changed and improved in the areas of honesty, empathy, nurturing, social growth, understanding, self-confidence and pride of accomplishment.”

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The project yields equally important outcomes for the dogs. Upon completing their part in the program, the once “unadoptable” dogs graduate as desirable companions. “We do home visits,” Dalton says, to make sure it’s a good match, and then, “we do a trial overnight.”

Sometimes adoptive families send photos and updates on their dogs. “This is amazing,” Dalton says, and the youth love hearing how well their dogs have been trained. “This is a dog that would’ve been put down,” Dalton points out. “We really did make a difference.”

POOCH will celebrate its silver anniversary with a “Year of the Dog” fundraiser and benefit July 14 at Montgomery Park in Portland. Dalton says the festivities will include an appearance by the first young man to graduate from the now legendary program. Like the peers who would follow him, he has remained a free and productive member of society.


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William Kennedy is a freelance writer who lives with his wife and daughter in downtown Eugene, Oregon. He's had many furry friends in his lifetime. Currently, he's tolerated by a black cat named Midnight.