00 days
00 hr
00 min
00 sec


Organization Mission

UnChained provides youth with the opportunity for self-reflection, personal growth, and development of life skills as they learn how to train homeless dogs in basic skills, manners and socialization to help the dogs become adopted into permanent homes.

Since 2012, UnChained has served more than 400 youth who have helped, train, socialize, and find homes for over 200 dogs — unleashing the youth’s potential one dog at a time!

The Big Idea 2024:
Ruff Time

This year’s project represents a significant expansion of our educational approach. We plan to integrate therapy for our students into our existing “Canines Teaching Compassion.”

The goal is to enrich the social and emotional development of our students by leveraging the unique bond between humans and dogs. A professional facilitator will guide students through structured activities and discussions designed to encourage introspection and self-awareness.

This integration will increase the benefits youth receive during the time they spend in our program. When youth develop a strong sense of purpose and self-worth, there is a ripple effect through their high school graduation, continued education, employment, reduced recidivism rate (staying out of juvenile detention), and overall contribution to the community.

Thanks to my dog Molly, I learned that I can be patient and understand others' feelings and moods. Molly has given me her trust and that's something I would like to get from others.

Anonymous 17 year old, Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall