Cassie’s unique looks make her stand out at the shelter, but she is still struggling with her rough past. Rachel Gentz is the dog trainer and rescue coordinator at the Humane Society of Macomb and lead facilitator at Teacher’s Pet, Dogs and Kids Learning Together, a program that pairs troubled kids with shelter dogs in a training workshop so that the kids learn empathy and patience and the dogs become more adoptable.

Cassie will be visiting a juvenile detention center twice a week to work with her human partner. She’ll learn how to trust people, and that she’ll never have to worry again that she won’t get enough food. The young person Cassie is paired with will help Cassie stop jumping on people out of excitement, for instance, by teaching her how to alter that behavior in a positive way. In return, Cassie will help her human partner gain self-respect and pride in the work he or she accomplishes as Cassie improves.