100th Class of spcaLA’s Teaching Love and Compassion (TLC)™ Graduates

Youth Violence Prevention Program Has Served 1,000 Students in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles, CA — Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) is proud to announce that the 100th class of Teaching Love & Compassion (TLC)™ graduated today from East Whittier Middle School. TLC is spcaLA’s renowned youth program that aims to break the cycle of violence by pairing students with shelter dogs to teach empathy and compassion for animals and all living things. TLC began in 1994 and has reached approximately 1,000 students in the Los Angeles area.

The TLC program helps students identify and break the cycle of violence by building self-esteem and increasing respect for all living creatures. With the help of spcaLA shelter dogs and hands-on dog training, students practice patience, compassion, and empathy by working through the conflicts and challenges of performing as a group to train shelter animals. Anger identification, conflict solving, empathetic choices, anti-bullying, kindness toward others, and other violence-prevention topics are the focus of TLC discussions and classroom activities. These topics help students identify their own assumptions, increase knowledge and positive attitudes towards animals, others, and self, and overall increase empathetic attitudes.


The 100th graduating class of TLC.



“Freeway Dog” Brittney, TLC student, and her adopter.

Throughout the program, TLC dogs learn a variety of behaviors, including basic obedience, fun tricks, and the beginnings of agility obstacles. Adding these skills to their resumes often helps TLC dogs get adopted and thrive in their new homes.

“When spcaLA created TLC in 1994, there was no other program like it,” said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President. “Since 1877, spcaLA has sought to prevent cruelty to animals and a great place to start is with young people. If we can break the cycle of violence, we can make the world a kinder place for people and animals.”

At graduation, the students gave a short speech highlighting what they learned during TLC followed by a demonstration of what they taught their shelter dog.

For more information, please contact Ana Bustilloz at 323-730-5300 x252, cell 323-707-1271 or abustilloz@spcaLA.com.

Since 1877, spcaLA has been the premiere independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization serving Southern California. There is no national SPCA, parent organization, or umbrella group that provides financial support to spcaLA. Donations run programs and services including Cruelty Investigation, Disaster Animal Response Team, Humane Education, and a variety of shelter services.