Foster Children And Shelter Dogs Helping Each Other Find Homes


Both foster children and shelter dogs are simply looking for a loving home that will provide them with unconditional care.

These two groups are working with each other to help find their new homes in the Humans and Animals Learning Together, or HALT, program.

This 20-year-old program helps bring foster children together with abandoned dogs. HALT provides classes twice a year, so dogs and children can learn from each other. Children come from foster care, residential treatment centers, and some have behavioral problems or mental-health needs.

Children help the dogs learn obedience skills that can make them more adoptable. The foster children and at-risk teens learn patience, discipline, love and social responsibility while training the dogs.

“We really stress kindness, we stress patience and we stress consistency with the animals,” said HALT President Candy Wansley. “It’s not just taking a stroll in the woods with a dog. We are very frank with the kids. We tell them because they were willing to work with these dogs, these dogs’ lives have been saved.”

Over 600 children have participated and around 300 dogs have been saved from euthanasia and adopted since HALT started in 1987.

“These kids learn how to do something good and let it go,” said Kat Coy, HALT’s agency coordinator. “This gives them a sense of stewardship. They learn that yes, you have had a rough life but you can give back.”

Source: KNOXNews

Photo: Chad Greene

3 Responses to “Foster Children And Shelter Dogs Helping Each Other Find Homes”

  1. Lynn says:

    How emotionally strong these children must be. Such a gift of love.

  2. kaefamily says:

    Program like this is most definitely deserving of our tax money and or private donations! Thank you for the brilliant minds who created and run HALT.

  3. Bridgett says:

    Would someone please send this story to Mutts and Moms?

    What a wonderful program. I am in tears reading about it. That is why God gave us dogs (and other critters) to help us to learn to be better people. To give us strengths and qualities we wouldn’t have without them. Pairing needy dogs and foster kids was a wonderful idea. Both get what they need and both get the wonder payoffs of working together.

    Good job HALT!

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