File - Mary Ellen Humane Education Programs

We want to make this program a reality. We are
 A non-profit organization to sponsor our program
 Start-up and operating funds
 Land and facilities on which to run our program
 Foster homes for dogs for duration of the program
 Dog trainer
 Volunteers – we’d welcome teachers, therapists,
social workers, veterinarians, handymen, etc.
Mary Ellen Humane Education
Program aims to help traumatized
youth and shelter dogs to learn to trust
themselves and each other so both can
experience fulfilling, successful
-Frequent foster home changes
-Frightened, terrified
-Attachment difficulties
Who is Mary Ellen?
Participants - children in grades 6 to 12 who have been
traumatized by abuse and are only attending school at most five
half-days per week
Youth will train dogs to the level of Canadian Canine Good
Citizen™ Certification endorsed by the Responsible Dog Owners of
Strategic Humane Intervention Program - SHIP (Loar & Colman,
2004) will be the basis for our character education program
Stand-By-Me Program: Graduates of SHIP will be eligible to apply
for education in humane business planning. It is our goal, through
social entrepreneurship, to create a canine-oriented business that
will help sustain Mary Ellen Humane Education Programs.
Recent empirical findings support prosocial
values-based character education (e.g.,
Peterson & Seligman, 2004; Seligman,
Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005).
Humane education has long-lasting positive
impacts on children (Ascione, 1997)
SHIP is a social emotional learning program
like those found to yield improvements in
social skills, emotion management,
attitudes, behaviour, and academic
performance (Durlak et al., 2011).
Phase I
Phase II
Phase III
Six traumatized at-risk youth
8 weeks
3 hrs/day, 5 days/week
4 cohorts/year ongoing
Six dogs sourced from shelters or
local rescue groups
Dogs housed in dog-foster homes
 Critical enquiry about the
values inherent in healthy, prosocial relationships
 Empathy, and the importance
of safety will be emphasized
 Dog training
 Practice and play time with
 Debrief time and project work
8 graduates of Phase II
Six months
3 hrs/day, 5 days/week
2 cohorts per year
Screening, hiring, orienting
staff, volunteers, and dog
fosters; facility setup
3-4 months
 Canine-oriented job skills
 Social entrepreneurship
 Setting up a non-profit
Future Orientation
Social Conscience
Staying the Course
“Happy Face Killer” by Krueger, Justice, & Hunt. 2006. Department
of Psychology, Radford University.
Writing from his cell in the Oregon State
Penitentiary, Jesperson recognized, “Abusive
behavior towards animals is one of the symptoms
on the road to being a murderer.” He wrote that “we
should stop … cruelty … before it develops into a
bigger problem, like me.”
Children who have themselves been physically
and/or sexually abused or witnessed abuse are
more likely to be cruel to animals or people
(Ascione, 2001).
When children were interviewed in a Utah study
at a domestic violence shelter, 50% of the children
reported they had tried to intervene to protect their
pets and/or their mothers from abuse.
Film clip from Teacher’s Pet: Dogs and Kids
Working Together
Jan Dawson, Humane Educator
Cell phone: 250-899-1795
Email: [email protected]
Dr. K. A. Dawson, Psychologist
Cell phone: 250-899-1794
Email: [email protected]

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