Sean’s Club is an animal-assisted therapy program for at-risk teens. We collaborate with The Summit High School, Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter and Thomas Mikkelsen of DogJax to help teens learn the responsibilities associated with caring and rearing a dog.
Our program is loosely based on the principals of a program that is currently running at a juvenile detention center in Oregon. The goal is to involve teens in the training process of shelter dogs. We invite 6-8 students from Summit to the Jackson/Teton County animal shelter every Thursday for 1 hour of pet training. By the end of the semester, our hope is that the shelter dogs are in a place where they can be more easily adopted out to a new home. They will have learned to sit, stay and come, and our hope is that they will be calmer and more socialized.
We anticipate the students will benefit from the unconditional love that a dog offers. They learn all about the positive reinforcement necessary to train dogs. They attain self-discipline and responsibility, along with teaching and parenting skills and other social and vocational skills. By the end of the program, we hope they will be empowered to use these new dog/people management skills in their daily lives.