At-risk youth to train shelter dogs in N. Ind. - WDRB 41 Louisville News

At-risk youth to train shelter dogs in N. Ind.

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- A South Bend police detective is hoping that shelter dogs can teach lessons such as discipline and empathy to at-risk youth.

The South Bend Tribune reports Detective Jen Gobel is helping to start Project HEAL, which stands for heart, education, achievement and leadership. The program will pair juvenile offenders with foster or shelter dogs for four-week training courses.

She's hoping the program also might help find some homes for the shelter dogs. The idea for the program, based on "Lifetime Bonds," a similar effort by the nonprofit Safe Humane Chicago.

The first 12-session pilot course will launch Sept. 16 with a group of 10 youths selected by juvenile probation staff.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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