Green Chimneys Receives Fourth Grant from the Petco Foundation for Dog Interaction Program

February 6, 2019

For the fourth year in a row, Green Chimneys has received a grant from the Petco Foundation’s Helping Heroes in-store fundraising campaign in partnership with Merrick Pet Care. This year’s grant of $2,500 recognizes the value of Green Chimneys’ engaging Dog Interaction Program and enables us to keep it strong.

Grant from the Petco Foundation

Piloted in 2014, the Dog Interaction Program has become a popular – and permanent – addition to Green Chimneys’ animal-assisted therapy program. Under a professional trainer’s supervision, our students help socialize shelter dogs, thus, improving their chances for adoption. During their 6-week training session, the canine “students” live on campus 24/7 and have frequent contact with our children and staff. You can see them visiting classrooms, participating in therapy sessions, enjoying time with teens at our Arbor House shelter and even “starring” in off-campus events including community health & wellness fairs.

The best news is the great success the program has had!

The adopting families, students and Green Chimneys staff have all benefited. We’re quite certain, based on their frisky and friendly behavior, that the dogs have as well. A few quotes say it all:

  • “The students who walk the dogs, groom, train, feed and play with them, develop a higher level of self-esteem and an improved sense of responsibility…” Lisa, Clinical Services
  • “Gavin [a Labrador mix] has enabled my daughter to shift her focus away from some of her anxieties and place it on loving and caring for her new friend…” Sharon, Adoptive Mother
  • “By connecting and caring for a dog, the teen’s level of stress decreases so they can make better decisions…” Hillary, Social Worker, Community Based Services

Prior funding from the Petco Foundation has supported Green Chimneys Dog Interaction Program and has contributed to its significant growth. To date, we’ve had 149 canine “graduates” and nearly all of them have found permanent loving homes. We are so grateful to the Petco Foundation for their support of this innovative program.