Program pairs at-risk teens and shelter dogs

Teen and Dog find a second chance together

Glen Gager says a 90-pound pit bull saved his life. Gager met "Rocky" last year when he was participating in a program called "Second Chance."

"He's goofy and I'm goofy, it's perfect," Gager said.

The program pairs at-risk teens with shelter dogs that need training in order to be adopted.  Second Chance's founder Cathy Smith says the goal is to teach young men and women responsibility and accountability while helping dogs conquer behavior issues that are keeping them from being adopted out of The Plano Animal Shelter.

"Animals really do have this ability to heal," Smith said.

Gager and other teens have been put in the program by Judge John Payton as a way to keep them out of the system. Gager says Payton has a reputation for being tough, but he now realizes his intentions are good.

"I probably wouldn't have graduated if it weren't for Judge Payton. He has a tough job and he doesn't hear thank you enough," Gager said.

Gager said he was 17 and skipping school when he was put in Second Chance. More than a year after completing the course, he said it's changed his life.

"It gave me a reason to be accountable,” Gager said. “And I feel good about myself.”

Gager said the program made such an impact on him he adopted the dog he credits with saving his life. Rocky is now much heavier and happier at home with his new friend.

The Second Chance program has hopes of expanding. If you'd like to know more or help, go here.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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