Puppies for Parole
The Puppies for Parole Program at the Western Region Diagnostic and Correctional Center has been a wonderful asset to the community since 2010. The program is a partnership between Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue who provides training, the dogs and many other resources to the program. The program utilizes trained inmates who become the handlers of shelter dogs over an approximate six to eight week period. During this time the handlers teach the dogs basic commands such as sit, lay, stay, come and how to walk nicely on a leash in order to help them pass the AKC Canine Good Citizenship testing. The handlers also take the time to house and crate train each dog, providing them with the dog and human socialization that they need.
The St. Joseph Puppies for Parole Program currently has 14 dogs in the program. Dogs are chosen for the program under a broad array of criteria such as behavior issues, lack of socialization, medical concerns such as heartworms or a recent surgery, length of time the animal has been at the shelter along with many others.
The Puppies for Parole Program is ran solely through donations. The Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Joseph thru generous public donations covers all medical costs incurred, donate their time, as well as providing any item that maybe lacking in the program. Purina graciously donates Purina Dog Chow and multiple boxes of treats to help keep the dogs healthy and happy. The dogs handlers also does a limited amount of fundraising.
the program is not only a great asset to the shelter dogs, but also to the handlers who look after them. There are currently 14 full time and 14 part time handlers in the program The handlers are responsible for the care, socialization and training of the dogs.Through the program they often develop skills and knowledge such as animal handling, animal care and nutrition, training techniques which they can carry on to the work force upon release. These handlers are very committed to seeing their dogs pas the Canine Good Citizen testing and go on to be adopted into loving homes.
The Friends of the Animal Shelter of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue along with the Western Region Diagnostic and Correctional Center are thankful for the generosity by all of our supporters. The program has helped to adopt out dogs that might never have gotten a second chance to go on and live happily with a family they deserve.