Project POOCH pairs incarcerated youth with difficult to place shelter dogs to teach responsibility, patience, and compassion for all life. The youth gain skills and confidence to prepare for their release, while our dogs gain the training needed to find their forever home.
Bottom Line for Portland
At Project POOCH we provide opportunities for youth in corrections to develop the personal and vocational skills needed to become responsible and productive members of society.
Project POOCH youth are paired with dogs to learn kennel management, positive reinforcement, grooming, and training techniques. The youth learn what it means to be depended on by another living creature and what it means to be trusted and relied upon. And, they learn what unconditional love feels like—sometimes for the first time. The dogs get trained, loved, and adopted into their forever homes. There is no limit to the amount of time a dog spends in our care, and we are focused on the individual needs of each dog.
Through POOCH, the youth participants discover that they have worth and value and that their entire life does not need to be defined by any specific moment. They build (or rebuild) their confidence and their dog’s confidence through dedication and training. The youth learn that they can come out of youth corrections and not just rejoin society but add value to their communities.
"My life has changed a lot because of helping the dogs. They’re helping me at the same time I’m helping them. I used to be a troublemaker before I started working in this program, but now that I know that there’s someone up there in the kennel waiting for me, I choose to take care of business, so I can be with my dog all day. I became a responsible person because I know that my dog depends on me.
Everybody deserves a second chance. We give that chance to dogs that need it."
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We acknowledge the racial disparity, both in the justice system and in the animal rescue world, and we are committed to making Project POOCH more equitable, inclusive, and diverse. The youth at Project POOCH are some of the many people affected by inequity in our country—economically and racially. Our program exists to directly serve this population by providing opportunities for youth to avoid the youth facility-to-prison pipeline. We strive to create an inclusive environment at Project POOCH where everyone feels welcome, supported, and engaged as a part of the POOCH team.
- All donations come with an incentive of wonderful karma!
- $25 or more will receive a sticker from Rogue Ales and Project POOCH. If you choose to attend our Santa Paws Party at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery on December 3, you will receive free digital photos with Santa (you can bring your pup for photos or have your photo taken with friends/family).
- $50 or more will receive a $10 gift card to Rogue Ales locations, good for food/drink of your choice, plus the $25-level incentive, the Rogue & POOCH stickers, and Santa Paws photos.
$100 or more will receive a Project POOCH sticker pack and the incentives of the $25- and $50-levels, the $10 gift card to Rogue Ales, the Rogue & POOCH stickers, and the Santa Paws photos.
- Rogue Ales has been a long-time partner of Project POOCH. They are engaged as donors, represented on our Board of Directors. They generously partner with POOCH to carry out events for POOCH adopters and all Oregon dog owners to raise awareness of and fundraise for Project POOCH.
Animal Aid is a nonprofit partner that shares our dedication to serving the animals of the Portland Metro area. We are partnering on an event, Drag Queen Bingo, on November 29 at Lucky Lab Northwest. We hope to see you there!
Oregon Justice Resource Center is a nonprofit partner that shares our commitment to juvenile justice through its Youth Justice Project. We are working to partner on a Trivia Night event, date TBD.