Empowering People and Pets Together for Good

k9 Connection

k9 connection works to optimize and support healthy human-animal bonds by providing services through their two main projects: 

  •  k9 Academy 
  • Pets’ Landing

k9 connection is proud to be a program of one of Los Angeles County’s largest social services agencies, The People Concern. We provide support for animal-assisted interventions that acknowledge the importance of healthy and safe emotional, psychological, and physical interactions that incorporate animals for the purpose of therapeutic gains and improved health and wellness. 

Our k9 connection program provides essential services and supplies to pets of people experiencing homelessness can be healthy, happy and safe through the Pets’ Landing Project; and helps disadvantaged youth in continuation high schools build life skills through the experience of training and bonding with shelter dogs in the k9 Academy Project. 

View our most recent feature in The People Concern’s FY 22/23 Impact Report.

“I really wanted to do it because I didn’t have a dog and I wanted to be around dogs. I knew that when I was around dogs, I was really happy. I think at the time (10th grade) I was really going through things, so being around dogs really cheered me up, no matter how I felt. So I really wanted to be in the program. It got me to come to school and be excited about it.” 

k9 Academy Participant, Olympic High School


k9 Academy

k9 connection’s on-site programs held at continuation high schools empower vulnerable youth by engaging them in animal-assisted interventions where they train homeless dogs in basic obedience and participate in life-changing classroom sessions. In the process, they learn to apply the lessons they teach the dogs to their own lives while experiencing trust, teamwork, responsibility, patience, empathy, unconditional love and success.

The after-school programs hosted by k9 connection were studied by graduate students who monitored the positive changes from the beginning of each program to the end (graduation). The results “demonstrated that the students showed significantly more developed social and emotional abilities following participation in the three-week intensive k9 program. Measurable gains were achieved in the teens’ ability to recognize and express their emotions, to understand and relate to others, to cope with stress, to begin thinking in a less negative or self-serving manner, and to give increased consideration to the thoughts and feelings of others.” So, there was a direct correlation between the students training the homeless dogs to be more adoptable and the dogs offering unconditional love and companionship in return.

Please contact us for information about our current internship training schedule at New Village Girls Academy and plan to attend a graduation.

“I suffer from schizophrenia and depression, so when days feel like I don’t want to get up, my doggie is the only reason why I get up. She’s the only thing that I have.”

-Gloria, a program participant, about her dog Lulu

“First my husband lost his job, then I lost my job and then fell into homelessness.

They’ve (The People Concern) given me wings to fly and they take good care of my best friend.”

-Dede, a program participant, about her dog Lucky Boy

“These events are important because we’re homeless and we have no way of taking care of our animals.

For people to come out here and volunteer their time for us and our animals, I love it, I thank God for that.”

-David, a program participant, with his dog Caramel

Pets’ Landing: Working to Empower People and Their Pets, One Family at a Time 

Pets’ Landing is poised to help pet parents provide for their furry family members as they tackle their own challenges of poor health, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, unemployment, low wages, poverty and drug addiction, which can often limit their access to a sheltered bed and place that will accept animals. 

In March 2020, life as we knew it, came to a halt, and existing services for people with pets living in Skid Row moved out of the neighborhood, leaving pet owners to fend for themselves. Working to re-establish vital and accessible resources, k9 connection brought the Pets’ Landing project to the heart of the neighborhood and launched the first free clinic on August 29, 2020, during the height of the pandemic. Since then, the Pets’ Landing One Health clinics have had a home base in the heart of Skid Row and residents can count on having access to pet and people services throughout the year. 

Upcoming Events for 2024:  

Skid Row clinics are held every three months on the second Saturday of each month. Clinics include veterinary care, grooming, supplies, and more. 

  • March 9
  • June 8
  • September 14
  • December 14

Pet pantries are on the 2nd Wednesday during the months clinics are not held. Pet pantries include food and supplies.

  • January 10
  • February 14
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • July 10
  • August 14
  • October 9
  • November 14

Events are open to all community members.


Get Involved!

Do you have a passion for helping animals and people, but don’t know where to start? Here’s your opportunity to join a team of like-minded people, all coming together to help preserve the family bond of people experience homelessness and their pets. Helping pets can take on many forms – and we’re here to help you find just the right role! 

Join our Street Teams! We are in need of volunteer DVMs, Vet Techs, Groomers, Outreach, Meal and Gift Bag Donations and Pet Supplies (please see our Wish List). 

Do you enjoy the “hands on” experience with animals? If so, you might want to try fostering a dog – help out at our veterinary clinics – give a pet a ride to the vet, a foster or to a new home! It’s definitely a plus if you have dog behavioral training experience! 

Besides fostering, other “at home” tasks can include administrative help such as phone calls, database entries and mailings. 

Do you have a knack for fundraising, event planning and social media promotions? We have several big events and campaigns each year. 

Perhaps you’re a student, eager to get direct training in social services, veterinary or global (people) health. 

One thing we know is that there is nothing more rewarding than playing a part in keeping people and their pets together and we can accomplish a lot by working as a team! 

A Special Thanks to Our Partners