Project POOCH is a non-profit dog adoption program based at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. Started in 1993, the program pairs incarcerated young men with shelter dogs.
Project POOCH accepts dogs of all ages who have been waiting for adoption for some time (often referred to as “second chance” dogs) and inmates train the dogs and care for them. Each dog in the program earns a AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate before he or she is made available for adoption and places a want ad on Project POOCH’s site. Read handsome 6.5-year-old Boxer blend Rocky’s ad below!
POOCH stands for “Positive Opportunities Obvious Change with Hounds.” Everyone involved says the program helps the guys as much as the dogs—part of the program’s mission is to help participants develop their personal and vocational skills (not to mention benefit from their dog’s unconditional love).
A research study has provided some evidence of the program’s rehabilitative effects—follow-ups with 100 men who participated in the program from 1993-1999 found that none have returned to corrections.
On November 18 in Portland, “Pooch in the Pub” will raise funds for Project POOCH. The annual event’s lead sponsor is Dave’s Killer Bread. The line of organic breads is super delish (and cool enough to rate an “Obsessions” column in the The New York Times Style Magazine) and its founder, Dave Dahl, knows a thing or two or 15 (years, that is!) about prison time. Check out the short film below that tells his incredible tale. Tickets for the dinner and silent auction event are $60. Attendees will receive free killer bread! If you can’t attend, find out other ways you can help the program here.
*Cause It’s Saturday: Inspired by an abandoned senior dog named Jasmine’s happy ending, which began on a Saturday, DDY sets aside this day of the week for animal cause features. Read Jasmine’s story here.