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The DeNier Program

The DeNier program started in February 2011 and continues on a weekly basis. The intent of this program is to get shelter dogs out of their kennels and to experience positive interaction with people and other dogs. The connection with the Robert E. DeNier Youth Service Center seemed a natural fit for this program. Each week, shelter staff and volunteers, including a dog trainer, take 6 – 8 shelter dogs to DeNier where DeNier student-athletes work with the dogs on needed skills such as sitting and staying, walking on a leash and trusting the handlers. There are obvious benefits for both the dogs and the student-athletes alike: the dogs receive positive one-on-one human contact and needed socialization skills that could improve their chances of being adopted, and the student-athletes are learning patience, compassion, and control of their own behavior.

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