Welcome To K9 Crew

We believe the way to keep at-risk kids from making bad choices is to give them something to work at & be proud of. Learning to train dogs changes their lives.

Finding Direction Through K9 Crew

Children seek independence during their formative years. We owe it to them to teach them to do this in a productive way, guiding them toward happiness rather than toward empty, dangerous distractions like drugs, alcohol and other risk-seeking behaviors. At K9 Crew, we believe that all children, with the obstacles life has put in front of them, develop great life skills and self-respect by working with dogs, whose limitless capacity for love and understanding make them the best friends — and teachers — a child can have.

K9 Crew is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which was founded by Joe and Kate Fluge in 2016. We serve 12 to 16-year-olds, particularly those at risk of adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms, by teaching them the skills they would need to work as professional dog trainers. Our students gain so much more than valuable job skills; they participate in an environment where their efforts are rewarded, providing them with the opportunity to see that they can positively impact their environment. The confidence this instills in them bestows nearly instant improvements upon their behavior.

Mission: To provide a safe, structured environment for at-risk youth to learn and develop dog training skills.


  • Encourage healthy stress management
  • Foster positive decision making
  • Redirect from the temptations of drugs or alcohol
  • Build relationships

Dogs Make Great Friends & Amazing Teachers

Dogs are amazing creatures who have helped people in nearly every imaginable situation. They provide a livelihood to farmers. They give independence to the handicapped. They even save lives on the battlefield. They’re natural at helping children as well. Working with dogs improves a child’s personality in so many ways:
Anxiety control
Problem solving skills

By learning to train dogs, a child becomes more rational, conscientious and well-adjusted. Not only will they become self-aware enough to realize the harm that drugs and alcohol will do to them, they will be too dedicated to their new pursuit to be distracted away from it.

Got Questions?

At K9 Crew, our mission is to provide a safe, structured environment for at-risk youth to develop dog training skills. In this way, we will save lives by teaching the invaluable coping aids needed to avoid self-harming behaviors. Learn more in our FAQ page.

Join Our Supporters

Nonprofits, like K9 Crew, owe everything to the support of their communities, volunteers and fundraisers. We are honored by our supporters, including the following local businesses that matched donations to K9 Crew on Giving Hearts Day 2018:

  • Booth Delivery Services
  • Sheyenne River Kennels
  • Subsurface, Inc.
  • BlackRidgeBANK
  • Aspire Financial

The Scoop

You’ve come to the right place for up-to-date information on the happenings at K9 Crew. Check back often so you never miss a thing!

Statistics on At-Risk Youth

Alcohol is the most abused drug among teens.

A depressed teen’s risk for suicide increases with the use of alcohol.¹

In 2015, 27 million people reported current use of illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs.

Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015.

90% of the alcohol teens drink is consumed during binge drinking.

In 2015, 772 drug overdose deaths of 15-19 year olds were reported.³

People under age 21 who drink are more likely to carry out, or be the victim of, a physical or sexual assault than their peers who do not drink.

Approximately 20% of teens will experience depression before they reach adulthood.

A youth suicide (aged 15-24) occurs every 100 minutes.¹

Research suggests that people who use marijuana regularly and for a long time are less satisfied with their lives, and have more problems with family and friends compared to those who do not use marijuana.

The average age of first-time marijuana use is 14.²

Drug use during teenage years increases the potential for serious drug abuse later in life.

The most recent data estimate that 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose.³




K9 Crew has been the best therapy for my daughter. They helped her become more respectful and responsible, and most importantly boosted her self-esteem. She now has a plan for her future, and looks forward to each day. She recently told me, “Mom, I don’t want to try out for dance, I want to dedicate more time to K9 Crew. When I’m at dance, I’m more stressed out, and I don’t like all the drama. At K9 Crew, I’m happy. There is no pressure or drama there!”

That was one of my proudest moments, hearing the maturity in her voice while she reasoned her decision based on the greater picture, and not just her mood. K9 Crew is a life saver for my daughter, and I am eternally grateful to Joe and Kate for their kindness and generosity toward my daughter and the other K9 Crew kids. Thank you!

-Crew Kid Parent

Since starting K9 Crew, my son has demonstrated more confidence in dealing with bullies at school. He looks forward to learning more each week, and loves being around the dogs. Recently, he has been applying the skills he learned at K9 Crew while working with our relatives’ dogs. This program has been so very beneficial to my son. Thank you!

-Crew Kid Parent