The Toledo Blade profiles Project Second Chance, Monroe
The 3-year-old pit bull and boxer mix was testing Eugene's patience.
The teenage boy remained calm with Meatball, showering the pet with attention and words of encouragement as he kept him away from another dog inside the training yard.
Eugene and Meatball were paired for Project Second Chance, a three-week program that puts dogs from the Monroe County Humane Society in the care of troubled kids.
For three weeks, Eugene, an offender in the Monroe County Youth Center, shared duties with another boy in the daily care of Meatball, one of two Humane Society dogs recently used in the program.
They got up before 6 a.m. each day to begin the regimen of watering and feeding Meatball and following up throughout the day to groom, exercise, and clean up after him.
"The kids are totally responsible for their dogs from the time the dogs come until the day the dogs leave," said Marji McIntyre, director of the local Project Second Chance.
Under the supervision and direction of a professional trainer, the youngsters also train and handle the abandoned animals to get them ready for adoption.