Dogs in Prison!
Not for being bad but to learn how to be well-behaved canines!
Most of us have heard about dogs in prisons that are taught how to become service or therapy dogs, but the State of Missouri (USA) Department of Corrections (MDOC) has a program called, “Puppies for Parole.” MDOC uses Puppies for Parole to partner with local animal shelters and rescue groups to help dogs find homes and to reduce the number of healthy dogs killed due to lack of space.
Animal shelters and rescue groups provide dogs and any items needed for the dogs, including: food, bowls, leashes, kennels, poop bags, toys, etc. as no tax payer funds are used for the dogs. Providing for all costs related to the dogs’ care is the responsibility of the group providing dogs.
In Cameron, Crossroads Correctional Center and Western Missouri Correctional Center are the sixth and seventh Missouri institutions to participate in Puppies for Parole. Volunteers were asked to help shelters and rescue groups; these volunteers included dog trainers. Once all of the volunteers (including dog trainers) and shelter/group were set, agreements between the correctional centers and shelter/group were signed. CRCC received their first dogs in June, 2010 and WMCC received their dogs in July, 2010. Both institutions have adopted over 50 dogs to date. Both correctional centers have increased the number of dogs allowed and hope to eventually have at least 15 dogs each.
Puppies for Parole provides incentives to the offenders who maintain a record of good conduct, provides them with skills for rehabilitation, and allows them to participate in a program to repay the community. Offenders not participating in the program and the staff also benefit from this program. The MDOC website quotes George A. Lombardi, Director of MDOC, “The dogs have a remarkable impact on MDOC offenders, improving offender behavior, and giving offenders incentive to maintain excellent conduct records. Offenders not directly involved in the program are showing responsibility and selflessness by donating to support our efforts. Staff morale is also enhanced by the presence of the dogs.”
The dogs live with two dog handlers in a cell and both are responsible for their dog 24/7. The entire team of handlers assists each other based on schedules. This includes potty breaks, recreation, working on behaviors, etc. Dogs in the program are also allowed to visit the infirmary at the correctional center after they exhibit the basics of a well-behaved dog.
Puppies for Parole. Helping Dogs Find Homes!
MDOC would like dogs to learn the skills needed for the Canine Good Citizen test. In addition to learning CGC skills, dogs and their handlers at both institutions are learning Pure Dog Listening (PDL). These are the only institutions in the United States using Pure Dog Listening. PDL teaches how to communicate with the dogs in a language they understand. The handlers teach the dogs what they want, how to think on their own, and be a well-behaved dog! PDL helps people view the world from a dog’s perspective. Instead of treating a dog as a human with a bunch of meaningless words, they communicate in a way a dog understands. PDL shows respect for the dog without using any force and by being calm and consistent with a positive attitude.
Because of the success with Pure Dog Listening in Cameron, Pure Dog Listeners of the United Kingdom has approached the Home Office in London, England to create a prison dog program based on Puppies for Parole.
MDOC is looking at other partners for Puppies for Parole. The Department of Health would like to adopt dogs from the program for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The Veterans Administration would like to do the same for combat veterans with PTSD. A psychiatrist is interested in therapy dogs for autistic children and would like to adopt dogs from Puppies for Parole. One of the dogs from Cameron was adopted to a search and rescue trainer in California and is now qualified as a search and rescue dog
Dani is a Pure Dog Listener and founder of K9 Instincts in Kansas City. After years of fosteringworking with dogs, and rehabilitating rescue dogs, she studied dog listening in the UK.
Dani helps the human side of the leash listen and communicate with their dog and create a partnership where the dog will naturally cooperate.
Love and respect are her mandate and focus. Whether you need help with your dog’s behavior, want to enhance your relationship with your dog, or just a brand new dog owner, Dani always looks at the situation from the dog’s perspective.
Dani is a member of Pure Dog Listeners in the UK and highly recommends the following book:
Why Does My Dog Do That? Because It’s A Dog from Robin Glover and Carolyn Spencer, Founders of Pure Dog Listeners in the UK.
To Find out more about Dani Click This Link: www.PureDogListeners.com/pdl/members/Dani.
These websites identify those participating in Puppies for Parole in Cameron, MO, USA:
Puppies for Parole website: doc.mo.gov/division/dai/puppies.php
Cameron Animal Shelter: www.petfinder.com/shelters/MO543.html
Pure Dog Listeners: www.PureDogListeners.com
K9 Instincts LLC: www.K9-Instincts.com
Tags: puppies for parole