Meet The Ultimate Underdogs: Stray Dogs And At-Risk Youth Fighting For A Second Chance, Together

Rescue dogs and at-risk youth in South Africa know what it’s like to have the odds against them. This Underdog Project is changing that for the better.

1. This is Winston. He was found in Cape Town, South Africa on the street. No family or home, he was emaciated and sick.

Via The Underdog Project 2013

2. Now a few months later, Winston’s life has been completely turned around, all because of the Underdog Project, an organization in South Africa that pairs at-risk youth with rescue dogs.

Via The Underdog Project 2013

Underdog describes their organization as one that “addresses social and emotional needs of youths and children using non-invasive animal-assisted activities, like dog training.”

3. And Winston’s not the only one! The kids and canines of Underdog meet after school and work on basic dog-training skills, forming a bond and teaching each other important lessons about life.

This is one of the girls in the program with her therapy partner, Tom.

4. The organization’s goal is to educate, “promoting responsible animal care and non-violent communities.”

5. Sometimes the dogs are a bit rambunctious, like this dog named Josh, a new member of the organization.

6. But the kids of Underdog are taught how to work with their canine partners, working toward the goal of the dog’s eventual adoption.

7. Underdog states, “The training that Underdog shelter dogs receive reduces kennel stress, prepares them for their new homes and accelerates their adoption.”

Via The Underdog Project 2013

This is Winston and he’s clearly a special guy.

8. With the help of the organization and his teen trainers, Winston is no longer a mere rescue dog, but a calm and caring friend to some kids who love him just as much in return.

Via The Underdog Project 2013

9. Through hard work and compassion, dogs just like Winston are given a second chance.

10. Of course a good amount of snuggling is involved in this process…

Via The Underdog Project 2013

11. Oh, and hugs. Hugs are a very important part.

12. Every Underdog has their own story of hardship, but through this organization they’re finding new ways to achieve success.

13. If you’re interested in helping the cause, check out their fundraiser on Thundafund!

International donations are accepted!

You can also check out:

Their facebook page here.

And their website here here!

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