Somewhere in their young lives something went wrong.  The young people in juvenile hall are off to a rough start, but they've got advocates on their side.   And not all those advocates are human.   Therapy dogs as well as rabbits, guinea pigs and even rats are brought to San Diego County Juvenile Hall three days a month.  These kids have been through all kinds of trauma, and this is a positive interaction, often their first, with an animal.   Pets provide great emotional support.  Yes even the rats.  

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.