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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Dogs in Prison (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Chrystal
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All over North America, programs have sprung up in which shelter dogs are brought to prisons and matched up with inmates. It's a second chance for both the dogs and the inmates and viewed as a win/win situation. It cost no money to tax payers as the programs fund themselves.

The dogs chosen are those who may have issues or are scheduled to be euthanized. When finished with their training program these dogs are highly sought after as well trained companions. They live with one inmate in their cell for several weeks or months until the training is completed.

For the inmates, the program is one that only those who have proven themselves to be trusted and have to earn the right to be in the program. They learn compassion and develop a bond for a living creature, learn a skill which can be used when they return to society and feel pride for a job well done.
They train service dogs for the disabled, war vets, or individuals who want a well trained dog.

I myself brought my dog on three occasions to the prison located in my area. Not having the time (due to a move) I didn't want to miss a critical training time in a pup's life at the age of 4 months so instead of kenneling him I brought him to the prison instead. It was twofold as 1) He would live with an inmate and be trained instead of kenneling and 2) The prison in my area takes on members of the public's dogs to fund their program.
The puppy brought to my home (sanctuary) was initially greeted with dismay. Not due to his breed (He was a Pitbull) but he was a pup that would probably not fit in as I had special needs and senior animals. I originally worried he'd get into the wrong hands and was planning on keeping him until he was old enough to be fixed, microchipped and trained. Six years later, he's still with me and is the life and soul of the sanctuary as a good will ambassador. Living peacefully with other dogs, cats, and smaller animals.

I returned a month later, and the inmate spent a few hours with me on going over the training under the leadership of a certified dog trainer. (I had specified I wanted him to pass his Good Canine Neighbor and be certified possibly in the next year). The pup learned his lessons well. He is a well behaved canine who is obedient and hand signal trained.

A year later, I left on a trip to Europe and returned him for a 3 wk stay. The same inmate was matched with my dog.

I returned him again the following year with another one of my dogs for more training and again I was impressed with the results. Regardless of what the views of people regarding inmates are this program does make a difference.

Here's a vid that can explain it far better than I can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2_SU8fA0f4
Bob1Dog
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What a great way to save the dogs and rehabilitate prisoners!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
arthur stead
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My neighbor has two elderly dogs he adopted from Old Dog Haven (a very worthy establishment, if you're interested). Once a year he goes on a 3-week vacation, and during that time, boards the dogs with the inmate dog-handlers at a women's prison. According to him, they are well taken care of and he recommends this service highly. And I agree: this prison program is wonderful way to care for dogs, and to teach participating prisoners about responsibility and empathy.

Check out Old Dog Haven here:

http://olddoghaven.org
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General_Magician
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Sounds like a really awesome program. I will say that my dog Brillo which is a rescue dog has been very good for me. My wife and I found him at Pet Smart with the local animal rescue and decided to adopt him. He is like a family member now. I think this program for prisoners is a great idea as well.
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lunatik
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I think it would be cool if some of these convicts when they get released starts up a company training dogs for the blind, protection services, military or just for some good training.
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Bob1Dog
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^ +1
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
General_Magician
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Quote:
On Apr 13, 2014, lunatik wrote:
I think it would be cool if some of these convicts when they get released starts up a company training dogs for the blind, protection services, military or just for some good training.


I agree. That would be a great idea.
"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby." -unknown

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Daryl -the other brother
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Sounds like a great program Chrystal. Thanks for sharing.
Chrystal
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Thanks Arthur for the heads up regarding Old Haven. It's within a days drive so perhaps I may get the chance to visit there some time. Given the chance I often only adopt aged dogs but get enough calls from the SPCA to "please take one more". Kinda ironic as it's me saying, "I can't I already have 3 male dogs, I can't take on a 4th". Sigh ... I did visit the old boy and yes, I brought him home. I needn't have worried as my dogs immediately accepted the old guy who was given six months to live maximum. He lived for another two but that's another story.

I'm glad to see the post were mostly positive as I am really a fan of these programs.

Regular dog training averages 8 wks. In my case as all the dogs that come through my home are obedience trained , sometimes I don't have the time to commit to signing up for a class. What was nice about this program is I was asked,"What do you want us to teach your dog to do?" I had specifics and when the training was over after his prison stay they then spent the afternoon with me showing me what he had learned and what signals he would respond to. Each person might have specific things they need the dog to learn such as for service dogs.

Some prisons do not take members of the public private dogs but only train service dogs. Each area is different so perhaps some of you may consider leaving your dog in a prison instead of a kennel next time and your dog may get training as a bonus.
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