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judges 2011


Entry Category Therapy Dogs
Charity Partner The Good Dog Foundation
Location Indianapolis, Indiana


In the world of Juvenile Justice there aren't an awful lot of second chances. The youth that come through the doors of the Marion Superior Court Juvenile Detention Center located in Indianapolis know that all too well. Many of these youth have a difficult time adjusting. It's a lot to digest when you are removed from your family and friends, despite the fact that you may have made a bad decision that will make your life change dramatically. Incarcerated youth have incredibly low self esteem, have an exponentially higher rate of suicide, and are often extremely undereducated.

Bentley the Golden/Lab mix knows life on the streets. He knows what it is like to be abandoned, to be discarded. Bentley is a 7 1/2 year old rescue that was selected to be trained as a therapy dog for at risk kids. You would think that he knew this was his second chance, as he instantly connects with every kid, and he often provides one-on-one therapy to five or more kids a day. Bentley works at the Center five days a week at a minimum never complaining about overtime. His "work" may be playing with a tennis ball, showing off his willingness to do tricks, or just laying down to be brushed, never with judgment. The one thing that we know for sure is that it works. He gets requests every day, even referrals from mental health professionals, and lawyers. Bentley loves his job and is a friend to hundreds of kids who really need a hero.

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