Youth Development

K9 Youth Alliance

kids helping dogs helping kids

Pasadena, CA


K9 Youth Alliance seeks to enrich the lives of young people while they help prepare abandoned dogs for permanent homes.

Ruling Year


Co-Founder, Organizational Director, K9 Youth Alliance Board Member

Kelly Osburn

Main Address

556 South Fair Oaks Avenue Suite 101-566

Pasadena, CA 91105 USA


Youth Development, Shelter Dog Training, Animal Advocacy, Leadership Development





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Single Organization Support (O11)

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Teens at risk: Teens from low-income families and academically or behaviorally challenged backgrounds are more likely to experience long-term barriers to success such as poverty, joblessness, incarceration and addiction as adults.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Positive Youth Development & K9 Enrichment Series

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The Positive Youth Development Series seeks to improve the lives of disadvantaged teens by helping them develop personal assets like self-esteem, leadership skills and responsibility.

K9 Youth Alliance aims to enrich the lives of underserved youth while they prepare abandoned dogs for permanent homes. Its mission stems from the tenet that one best helps oneself by helping others. Specifically, K9YA empowers teens from low income and other high-risk backgrounds to develop greater self-awareness and responsibility both by volunteering to help shelter dogs and participating in activities that promote personal development and leadership skills. K9YA’s programs are based on the tenet that youth best help themselves by volunteering to help others, in this case, abandoned dogs. Canine enrichment and training help reduce stress in shelter dogs, buffering against maladaptive behaviors that can lead to euthanasia. By providing shelter dogs with up to 30 hours of enriching activities, K9YA students improve, and in some cases even save, their dog-partners’ lives. Youth are empowered with a greater sense of responsibility and self-worth as they begin to understand just how much they have to give.

Our partners include: Boys & Girls Club Pasadena (refers teens and provides facilities). Hillsides Education Center (refers teens). LA Animal Services (provides shelter dogs). Pasadena Humane Society (provides shelter dogs and facilities). Our staff includes: Program Director (coordinates program) Educational Facilitator (leads classroom activities) Training Instructor (teaches dog training) Canine Assistant (dog transportation & handling) Volunteers (mentor students and assists with program) Research (evaluates impact)

K9YA collects anonymous surveys from students. Of its 22 graduates to date, 100% would recommend the program, 98% said they learned something new that they’ll apply in their own lives and 98% rated it a 10 out of 10 for overall enjoyment. K9YA has partnered with researchers at The Chicago School to assess the program’s impact with a quantitative study of pre-and-post program social-emotional functioning. Researchers have completed a pilot study and will begin data collection in 2018.

Each program serves six teens who are either from low-income communities or who’ve been identified by their educators as at risk for academic failure and behavioral problems. An additional 10 teens attend an interactive presentation by an animal professional. Programs also serve 6-12 shelter dogs. Roughly 80% of our students live at or below the poverty level, about 92% are members of minority races and roughly 25% attend an alternative school due to special education or behavioral needs. In 2018, our programs: • Equipped 20 young people with skills like force-free dog training, leadership, teamwork & public speaking • Provided 68 young people with fun, informative presentations by animal professionals • Helped over 20 sweet dogs learn new skills and make it safely out of the shelter through rescue & adoption

External Reviews


K9 Youth Alliance

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2016 and 2015
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


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Race & Ethnicity

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Gender Identity

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Sexual Orientation

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