Soul Dogs, Inc. employs many behavior/mental health therapists with a variety of expertise. We are all trauma-informed therapists and specialize in this area. We are available to teams, families, and providers to assist in completing an assessment and developing a behavior support plan to benefit the individuals we serve. We are here to help you help your consumer. This is in addition to the counseling with the individuals.
Behavior Therapy/Mental Health Counseling
Soul Dogs, Inc. prides itself on its behavior services department. While we all utilize behavior modification techniques, we specialize in trauma-informed mental health treatment as we look beyond the behaviors to truly understand the individual and support them.Soul Dogs, Inc. adheres to the three key factors of trauma-informed care/treatment:
We individualize every program which also may include but is not limited to mindfulness/relaxation training, body awareness training, coping skills and social skills education, psycho-education, art therapy, yoga/meditation, and animal-assisted therapy. We provide behavior services in English, Spanish and ASL.
BEHAVIOR PLAN ASSESSMENT
Soul Dogs, Inc. provides comprehensive behavior/mental health assessments to individuals served by local Community Center Boards. We gather information from the individual, family (if available), other programs, and persons in the individual’s life (with the individual’s permission) to develop an individualized behavior plan to assist the person in meeting their goals.
Soul Dogs, Inc. was founded on the premise that animals are healing agents. Our day program focuses on train-the-trainer, that is, teaching individuals with ID/DD how to train animals and learn the skills necessary to care for a pet or have a service dog or emotional support dog if indicated. Our job services programs include training on animal management, dog walking services, treat-making, dog training, dog grooming, etc. to name a few.
Our therapy program includes animals if the client so desires. This could mean the involvement of a trained therapy dog in sessions.
Trauma-Focused Women's Group
The Soul Dogs, Inc. Family Life Center, Becoming Strong Women Group AKA Women’s Group, is aimed at raising the status of women through education, empowerment, and community support.
The group will educate women on the topics of women’s health, empowerment, self-compassion, mental health (trauma and recovery), violence against women, women’s rights, relaxation/meditation, sexual health, and diversity.
Accepting Colorado Access, DD and SLS Medicaid Waivers, and Self Pay
Our mission is to provide affordable community-based multi-cultural services for families in the Denver metropolitan area while enhancing the lives of parents and children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
These services include parental education and support, therapeutic supervised visitation, family therapy, individual therapy, art therapy and classes, children’s therapy, single mom education, and support. Our program is provided remotely and in person at our Family Life Center.
The Soul Dogs, Inc job coaches stick with the participant even after they’ve gotten the job. Supported Employment in the workplace is just as important as training.
The job coach will determine with the supervisor how many hours of on-the-job training and/or supervision is needed for each individual. The job coaches will accompany the individual to the job sites for as long as the individual needs the support- initially intensive support and then step down to eventually (for some) weekly or monthly support.
The goal is to give the individual as much independence at work as possible.
The Job Development phase of the Soul Dogs, Inc. Job Services Program is focused around determining the participant’s workplace preferences, exploring interests, applying for jobs of interest, and interview training.
Soul Dogs, Inc. provides job training services for both individuals wishing to work in the community, as well as individuals wishing to focus their career path towards the animal services industry.
Many individuals love animals and wish to work in the animal industry but do not have the skills necessary. Soul Dogs, Inc. prepares participants for paid community employment in the animal services field. The animal services field is a competitive field and Soul Dogs, Inc. provides community based learning experiences based on the participant’s interests and preferences.
Soul Dogs, Inc. also provides job development services for individuals that do not wish to work in the animal industry. All industries and preferences are welcome.
Soul Dogs, Inc. is invested in providing intensive, ongoing supports that enable participants, for whom competitive employment at or above the minimum wage is unlikely absent the provision of supports, and who, because of their disabilities, need supports, to perform in a regular work setting.
All Soul Dogs, Inc. training and employer partners are Community Integrated Employers (CIE) that employ and train individuals of all abilities.
Animal Industry Jobs may include, but are not limited to:
Kennel maintenance/kennel care
Assistant to kennel manager
Assistant in veterinary clinic
Walking dogs for veterinary clinic, humane society, rescues
Assistant in doggie day care
Customer service in pet store
Bather for dog groomer
Assistant in a boarding facility
Any job in any industry
Work Adjustment Training
This program is for those whose disabilities limit them from obtaining competitive employment. The Soul Dogs, Inc. Work Adjustment Training Groups include goal-directed services focusing on improving general employability skills such as attendance, punctuality, dress and hygiene, work stamina, and interpersonal relationships with co-workers and supervisors.
Work Adjustment Training generally takes between 1 and 3 months to complete. Services can continue until objectives are met or until there has been noted progress. It may include practical work experience.
Many individuals love animals and wish to work in the animal industry but do not have the skills necessary. The Soul Dogs, Inc. Job Readiness and Job Development programs prepare participants for paid community employment in the animal services field. The animal services field is a competitive field. Soul Dogs, Inc. provides facility and community-based learning experiences for job services participants to gain skills and knowledge of the positions they choose to apply for.
All participants in the Work Adjustment Training are required to enroll with DVR.
PUP AND AT ‘EM
Soul Dogs, Inc. understands that daily dog training isn’t for everyone. Which is why, as of January 1, 2022, Soul Dogs, Inc. will be offering “SCC Groups” to individuals on the DD Waiver and SLS Waiver.
What is “Pup and at ‘Em?”
Pup and at ‘Em is an SCC-based program that helps participants access the community and practice life skills in the real world!
SCC = Supported Community Connections.
SCC is time spent in the community with a support staff.
About the Pup and at ‘Em Group
Program runs Monday-Thursday from 9am-3pm.
Each daily group has an average of 10 participants attending.
Participants must be transported to and from Soul Dogs, Inc. (map) for their program.
Participants must participate in a COVID-19 screening before every SCC Group. Failed COVID screenings require isolation and the participant will need to be picked up by provider. We suggest providers perform COVID screening before participants transport to Soul Dogs, Inc.
Types of Outings We Go On
Fishing | Site Seeing | Hiking | Mountain-Top Mediation
Walks | Sports | Games | Exercise | Dance Parties
Food Drives | Recycling Projects | Park Cleanups | Shelter Days
Malls & Stores | Zoos, Farms, & Reserves | Museums
An onsite day program four days/week (Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs) is provided on-site so the Soul Dogs, Inc. resident dog trainers may teach the dogs and our train-the-trainer participants the necessary skills to train dogs in basic obedience, as well as emotional support and service functionality. Our goal is for each participant to attain his/her/their maximum functional level, or to be supported in a way allowing him/her/them to gain an increased level of self-sufficiency. We believe dogs are a vital piece for these individuals to feel safer and less alone so they may better access the community. Services will include assistance with self-care, sensory stimulation, and reduction of alarm to sensory stimulation, as well as reinforce skills taught in this program. The dogs will be taught the skills needed to mitigate the symptomatology associated with PTSD. For example, the dog can interrupt panic attacks, remind the individual to take medication, create a barrier in public if the person feels crowded, and aid in hyper-vigilance by clearing dark rooms and turning on lights, and reducing social anxiety by having a partner in the community that they trust. Participants may choose to become involved in the train-the-trainer program where they will learn to train dogs; at the end of the program, they may choose to teach classes to community members under the guidance of Soul Dogs, Inc.’s trainers/staff. Skills necessary, such as dog training, dog grooming, and feeding, veterinary care, CPR/First Aid, etc. are taught in the on-site train-the-trainer program to participants in a way they may integrate so they understand the necessity of caring for their animal partner; additionally, specialized classes will be taught by local professionals, and the staff frequently host group discussions that relate the teachings done with our dogs to the teachings we follow in our everyday lives.
The train-the-trainer program is located next to a park, a training area, across the street from a strip mall with numerous stores, restaurants, health clubs, etc. Additionally, the train-the-trainer program partners with local businesses in the animal industry to learn more ways to care for our pets. The train-the-trainer program spends approximately 25-50% of its time in the community. The rest of the time is spent learning and training at the day program.
Supported community connections will be a part of the train-the-trainer program each day, taking the dog-participant teams into the community to practice skills learned in the onsite program as indicated above. SCC supports the abilities and skills necessary to enable the participant to access typical activities and functions of community life with the support of their animal partner. These activities occur in the community where our participants interact with non-disabled individuals and learn how to ask for help and navigate daily activities of the “typical” population, such as grocery stores, big-box stores, restaurants, banks, parks, etc. These activities encourage socialization with the general community and learning how to answer questions about their dogs and the purpose of the dog. It will also enable us, as support persons, to understand what the training needs are to better support the individual.
Outings may include but are not limited to: libraries, grocery stores, big-box stores, 16th Street Mall, restaurants, public transportation, museums, the airport, local small concerts, street fairs, dog parks, parks, classrooms at the local community college, etc. The goal is to teach skills in the community, retain and improve on skills learned in day habilitation, feel safer and more comfortable in the community, and be a better dog caretaker.
Our day program also offers activities and outings unrelated to training dogs. Participants may choose to do arts and crafts, learn new skills, play with our animals, and hang out with friends while here. We offer a wide range of activities that changes each day so participants may try new things.
DOG TRAINER ACADEMY
This program is our registered apprenticeship program, where individuals learn how to become dog trainers. They work part-time with a Job Coach at our Day Program. Here they learn all the steps involved with training and raising service dogs, therapy dogs, ESA dogs, as well as rescue dogs, from the age of 8-week and up. During this apprenticeship, individuals have the chance to gain hands-on experience working with dogs and learning about the dog industry in a safe and controlled manner. The goal of this program is to prepare individuals to be dog trainers, or prepare them to work in the dog industry.