Public Safety

VIDEO: Pet-Assisted Therapy Offers Positive Interactions at Juvenile Hall

Many young people who get into trouble have had difficult or even traumatic life experiences. Addressing their psychological and emotional needs has become a vital part of rehabilitating them to safely return to their communities.

Pet-Assisted Therapy is one of many programs the San Diego County Probation Department is using as it continues to dramatically change its approach to juvenile justice. Therapy dogs and other animals visit juvenile hall for an hour three days a month. The animals have a calming, comforting presence, and for many youth, it’s their first time having positive interactions with pets.


José Eli Villanueva is a multimedia designer with the County of San Diego Communications Office.