Dog training changes life
ROBERT BANKS AND FRIEND at the Santa Monica, Calif., kennel where Robert works.
BY ELIZABETH BUCHHOLTZ –
Robert David Banks from The Salvation Army’s Santa Monica Shelter is one of the 46 recent graduates of the second W.O.O.F! Program and has already begun a career path in dog training at the Santa Monica Kennel. “Working with dogs is the best therapy,” Rob commented. “They depend on you.”
For the past 10 years, Rob has battled alcoholism and drug abuse. He entered The Salvation Army’s program once before, but relapsed. He reentered The Salvation Army’s program at the Santa Monica Shelter last September. After just a few days, he signed up for The W.O.O.F! Program (Work Opportunities for Outstanding Futures), completed it successfully and is now actively pursuing a future within the field.
Over the holidays, Rob cared for almost 100 dogs a day! The kennel has even made him the main person to work with the larger, more aggressive dogs. The experience Rob is getting is unquestionable for his future in dog training. His hands-on work and learning the different breeds and personalities will advance him far in the field.
Every time Rob seems to make a move, the door opens. He will soon be taking an internship with the West Los Angeles Kennel to enhance his dog training skills. Rob believes through all this experience he will make a name for himself and build his portfolio. He has even begun working on his own dog training website.
The W.O.O.F! Program is a privately funded vocational dog-training program for men and women from several Salvation Army programs in the Southern California Division and teamed up for a second year with nationally acclaimed dog expert, Matthew Margolis.