Relying on the human-animal bond to support healthy youth development.

EPIC Pals works to build qualities like compassion, empathy and dedication to service in young people by focusing on the bond between people and animals, and by raising awareness about animals in need. EPIC Pals also works to empower young people with skills that can help them better identify their own goals and work toward those goals while developing more self-confidence.

EPIC Pals Program Options

EPIC is able to offer the EPIC Pals program in a variety of manners that can suit the needs of most classrooms, after-school programs and youth groups.

In the traditional version of the EPIC Pals program, young people meet with a group facilitator and adult volunteers to discuss lessons from an animal-centered, social-emotional learning curriculum. Young people in this program are paired with rescue dogs and learn how to use positive reinforcement techniques to teach their furry friends some basic manners and a few fun tricks. Groups generally meet at least twice a week for six to eight weeks and culminate with a graduation where the young people have the opportunity to speak about their experiences in the program and demonstrate what they have taught ‘their’ dogs.

For larger groups, groups who can’t meet as frequently, or groups with other needs, EPIC offers other versions of the EPIC Pals program. EPIC has worked with numerous groups to offer regular lessons from animal-centered, social-emotional learning curriculums to students. EPIC can bring a dog along to these groups upon request. EPIC staff is also happy to offer humane education presentations to groups. Please contact us to find out if EPIC Pals might be a good fit for your group!

Contact Us

To find out more about EPIC Pals contact us at pals@epicprevention.org

Funding for this project was provided in part by Missouri Foundation for Health. Missouri Foundation for Health is a resource for the region, working with communities and nonprofits to generate and accelerate positive changes in health. As a catalyst for change, the Foundation improves the health of Missourians through partnership, experience, knowledge and funding.