Estelle Watson works the traveling booth for Project Pooch (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

The volunteers at Project Pooch love to promote their cause and take their traveling booth all over Salem. On July 31, they were at Guentners Gardens in South Salem. Supporters of the cause like Estelle Watson and Kathy Gardner sell dog-related items and share information on how citizens can add an adopted pet to their family.

Project Pooch pairs shelter dogs with young people incarcerated at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility. The young men learn to train, groom, and create a dog’s profile to help them get adopted. This win-win relationship helps build job skills and confidence as the youth move on with their lives.

Debbie West of PAL (Prevent a Litter) also joined the ladies at Guentners. PAL promotes responsible dog ownership by assisting with the costs of spay and neutering.

The group regularly has a spot at downtown’s Saturday Market. Find out where they will travel to next by visiting their Facebook page

CJ and Donna Mitchell at Salem Saturday Market (Courtesy/Project Pooch)

Debbie West from PALS at Guentners Gardens (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

A Project Pooch display shows adoptable dogs (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Kathy Gardner works the traveling booth for Project Pooch (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

About Project Pooch:  Joan Dalton founded the program in 1993 while she was vice-principal at MacLaren’s Lord High School. She started with one dog and one youth. Since that time, Project POOCH, Inc.® has changed (and saved) the lives of hundreds of dogs and youths.

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional, writing regularly about events for Salem Reporter. 

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