Hilton Robinson, a student at the North Lawndale Bridgescape Academy in Chicago, is interning with Safe Humane Chicago – an innovative organization that was founded to make communities safer by reducing violence for children and companion animals. With focus on education, advocacy, and second chances for at-risk youth and animals, Safe Humane Chicago is making a positive impact in a city that have been overwhelmed by gun violence.
The fundamental idea that led to Safe Humane Chicago (SHC) is that community safety and the humane treatment of animals are closely related. Violence towards animals in a community is highly correlated with violence towards people. The Chicago Police Department recognizes that where there are gangs, guns and drugs, there is felony dog-fighting and there are abused animals. The founders recognized that a campaign to reduce the violence against children and companion animals could make a community safer and more humane. They also understood that the development of empathy is often enhanced in children by positive relationships with animals and that a proactive and positive approach to combating violence would be to promote compassion and caring for people and animals with positive, beneficial relationships and opportunities.
Hilton’s involvement and commitment to the mission of Safe Humane Chicago has been highlighted in the photo (above), the video clip (below), and in his selection to a two-month paid internship at the Animal Farm Foundation in Amenia, NY this fall. Hilton will be training former shelter “pit bull” dogs as service dogs to assist people with disabilities. The Animal Farm Foundation carefully evaluates the dogs selected for the program, and teach them various tasks to mitigate a person’s disability.