Teaching Compassion, Respect & Responsiblity toward animals & others
I conceived The Shiloh Project because of my deep concern about incidents of youth committing cruel, violent and abusive crimes against animals, and about the correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence or other violence toward humans. Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit crimes against people, four times more likely to commit property crimes and three times more likely to have a record for drug or disorderly conduct offenses.
Young people raised in violent, abusive homes learn that violence is a way to solve problems and get results. One of the most powerful moments during many Shiloh Project sessions occurred when participants discovered that they can teach a dog the “sit” command without laying a hand on the animal. As one student noted in their Shiloh Project journal: “I learned that you don’t have to treat dogs bad for them to listen to you.”
Without the intervention of the the Shiloh Project, many of these troubled youths would never have had the opportunity to experience a non-violent and healthy relationship with an animal, which is often a first step in learning how to relate emotionally and respectfully to another living thing.