IN THEIR OWN WORDS
"For my first month and a half at the Academy, I didn't care about anything and I made sure everyone knew it, too. My mind was corrupt. I started to realize a change in the first week of being in KNK9. I started to open up more, get in trouble less, and focus on improving myself. It felt pretty good. KNK9 was a place to grow, expand my character, and improve myself. At the end of KNK9, I found out I didn't get the promotion I was expecting, and that put me in a bad state of mind and made me want to quit everything. You helped me see I couldn't quit on my dog and because I didn't, my dog made me feel like a king at graduation in front of all those people. I realized I needed to keep my head up and keep doing what I was doing before to continue to become the leader I am today."
- Mike, KNK9 Participant
"The program has taught me a lot of anger skills. I learned not to lose control. It makes my day much better because I look forward to going there. It motivates me to get through the day very nicely. It is helping me a lot because I do not get mad as much."
- Terrell, KNK9 Participant
"I learned to believe in myself and to not give up on myself when I don't think I can do something. It helped me overcome my fears of trying new things. This is a good and excellent program that has taught me a lot of reliability and responsibility. Before KNK9, I wasn't sure about my future, but now I realize I am capable of doing things when I put my mind on it. I know I'm not the smartest person in the world but thanks to this program, I don't feel like the dumbest person in the world anymore."
- Maria, KNK9 Participant
"This group helped me make friends and helped me with patience.”
– Alicia, Trails and Tails Participant
"The Kids-N-K9s program has helped many people mentally and emotionally. By working with dogs, it helps your brain work better because it is more hands-on. Programs like KNK9 provide a positive rehabilitation. By influencing troubled teenagers to an alternative
program like KNK9, it can help change lives. It lets them know that there is more to life than doing drugs and running the streets. By having an alternative program like KNK9, it will give a positive outlook for future teenagers who join the program and by doing this, hopefully it will change the lives of many people."
- Joshua, KNK9 Participant
“This program helps me with staying calm & making new friends & helps me keep my anger down.”
– Levi, Trails and Tails Participant
“2 things that happened while I was in Trails and Tails is that I have new friends and I’m excited to work with the dogs.”
– Bryson, Trails and Tails Participant
“The Trails and Tails program worked with our family and one on one with our daughter for 4 months. While working in the program, we noticed an interest and enthusiasm in our daughter we did not see before for any activity. She became engaged and responsive after seeing her uninterested and unresponsive for so long. We observed our daughter finding a connection with the animals at the shelter."
- Parent of Kaleigh, Trails and Tails Participant
“I just wanted to say thank you for all that you have done for me. When we first met I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I gave you a list of my goals. I wanted a job, school, and to be happy. You helped me go through my very first job interview and never said no to me. You were always positive and that reflected not just on me, but on everyone around you. Volunteering was something I always enjoyed and I loved the fact that you were able to help me with that. I hope Trails and Tails continues for a long time. Thank you for helping me reach my goals.”
- Jose, Trails and Tails Participant
“I saw our group of Youth Trainers make notable gains in confidence.”
– Eric, Case Manager of Trails and Tails Participants
Rachel worked with our daughter for several months. It was remarkable to see Sarah care for someone else and transfer that energy to care for her own self. Counseling and therapy took weeks to start and was not as engaging. She did not come home wanting to talk about her sessions. She did not walk away with a sense of accomplishment. After working with the shelter she came home talking of her own free will about the animals, what she was able to accomplish and what she looked forward to doing next at the shelter. Her communication and willingness to work gave a sense of hope and joy for our whole family. Rachel’s sensitivity, caring, and diligence made it an honor to know her. She has accomplished something I will never be able to repay, a connection with our daughter. I highly recommend Rachel and her program Trails and Tails to anyone.”
- Parent of Sarah, Trails and Tails Participant
"I didn't do my homework over the weekend when I should of. It's my responsibility to complete all my assignments that are given to me. It's not fair to all the other cadets who did their homework if you come in and participate without completing your homework assignment. You're not just learning how to train a dog or teach it tricks, you are also learning responsibility, patience, and how to maintain a good attitude. I've learned from this experience that maintaining a positive attitude and moving forward from situations that can set you back will get you far in life. Life will always throw obstacles your way. It's how you go about them and move past them that counts the most."
- Jose, KNK9 Participant
"First off, thank you Miss Donna and Miss Rachel for being calm and nice with us during training, and pushing us to our max to get the success we need. Now I understand the concept of life, and to keep my anger down when I am doing stuff like training my dog.
And want to thank my dog for showing me how to love, and to open up my heart to people and animals other than myself. Thank you."
- Alex, KNK9 Participant
"My dog is very energetic and loves to play and cuddle, and is always in need of attention. When I first met Nate, I was sometimes frustrated with his behavior. Sometimes I felt like I didn't want to work with him, but always for some reason I never gave up on him. It might have been because he could tell who I was out of everyone but I never gave up on him.
All the hard work that we did paid off because now Nate knows a number of tricks I've taught him. Working with Nate the past couple of weeks has taught me never to give up on anyone or anything no matter how difficult the situation is."
- Felix, KNK9 Participant
Seth came into the program terrified of big dogs, and almost quit on the first day when we'd brought only big dogs. He decided to challenge himself to work with a sweet dog, and we quickly found out she was terrified of men. It was amazing to watch them slowly build trust in one another, and they ended up developing a wonderful bond!
"I have had a rough time with Bella but it was worth it. Bella and I have built a strong relationship. When Bella wasn't focusing on the tricks I wanted her to learn, it was so frustrating that I wanted to quit but I stuck with it. I didn't quit because I wanted Bella to get adopted. The sad part about Bella's previous family is that her owner dropped her off at the shelter, all because her owner said that she's 'too big.'"
- Seth, KNK9 Participant
"Before I stated this program, I hadn't gone to school for three weeks. I hated school...everything seemed so pointless. Once I finally came back, we were starting this program and I loved it. I love my dog. I feel for "Granger" deep in my heart and I will never forget him. This program taught me to love for a dog, I mean truly love, and how to become closer with people. I feel so deeply connected with each and every one of you because of this program."
- Christina, KNK9 in Schools Participant
"I started off hating every day here, constantly skipping school. Once we got told we were going to be working with dogs, though, it turned around. I have come to school every day since we started because I don't want to miss seeing my dog. Seeing my dog helps me relax and just be a lot happier. I have really bad anger management issues and since I've started with the program, it's allowed me to feel more relaxed here and get more patience. It makes me unbelievably proud that we helped our dog get a good, loving home."
- Leshley, KNK9 in Schools Participant
"I had a tough time working with my partners at first. I have a tendency to take over a group or partner activity, and I didn't want to let my partner train 'Jewel', but I overcame my pride because 'Jewel' needed to learn to work with more than one person. I believe I am able to work better now in partner and group activities. It was hard training her to be patient because I am known to be very impatient, but I had to overcome that thanks to 'Jewel'. She is very energetic and full of life, like me, which can be challenging at times. It's funny because she is like me. I know for a fact 'Jewel' is and always will be a blessing to me. Thank you for making this opportunity (to work with her) happen."
- Dillion, KNK9 in Schools Participant
"My experience in the beginning was very rough because my dog was loud and hard-headed, but so was I. The most memorable time I had was when I got frustrated trying to teach 'Josie' to spin and handed her to my partner and 'Josie' came running after me to see if I was ok. My mood and attendance both changed drastically. I went from always being a rude person to being a loving mother and daughter, and what I taught 'Josie' gives me a lot of hope for the future."
- Chelsea, KNK9 in Schools Participant