Six K9 volunteers arrived at the Kiehl’s store on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica Sunday, September 10th, with four dogs looking for a home.

The Kiehl’s Since 1851 perfume and cosmetics store hosts K9 Connection’s pet adoption program for the City of Santa Monica’s shelter rescue dogs on the second Sunday of every month.

Adoption outreach is a part of K9 Connection’s three-week program for at-risk youths in local schools.

The youths, age 12 to 16, train homeless shelter dogs in basic obedience, which helps troubled teenagers apply the same lessons they teach the dogs to their own lives.

K9 Connection regularly holds two-hour adoption outreach training classes for volunteers who walk the dogs to public places and parks to find someone willing to give the pets a new home.

“It’s been very popular with our customers, who keep asking when the next adoption event is scheduled,” said Tammy Smalls, the Kiehl’s Santa Monica store manager and an animal lover who exhibits Persian cats.

“I’ve been doing it for eight months,” said volunteer Mary Beth Macaluso, who has two shelter dogs of her own. “I walk the dogs along Main Street. They are so happy to get out and about.”

“You meet such interesting people while you are walking the dogs,” said volunteer Sara Halpert, who brought Dixie, an Australian cattle dog, to Kiehl’s to be adopted on Sunday. “I just love the healing experience of being with the animals.”

K9 Connection is one of OPCC’s (formerly Ocean Park Community Center’s) ten social service programs.

Information, (310) 264-5424 or visit the Web site at www.k9 connection.org

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