Inmates Who Train Dogs for Adoption

by Cindy Quarters
Dog training programs give prisoners hope and purpose.

Dog training programs give prisoners hope and purpose.

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Prison programs such as Hardee Hero Hounds and DAWGS -- Developing Adoptable Dogs with Good Sociability -- combine prison inmates with dogs in need of rescue to provide a better life for both. Working with the dogs gives inmates a chance to do some good while developing skills they can use to earn an income once they’re released from prison. Dogs who go through inmate programs are placed for adoption once the program is complete.

Inmate Benefits

Many of the dog training programs give inmates a chance to earn a certificate of completion for the program as proof of the inmate’s new skills. While similar in many ways, programs vary in focus, length and intensity. In addition to teaching basic obedience, inmates may learn to groom dogs, teach them canine sports such as agility and rally, and even train some well enough to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.

Dog Benefits

The dogs paired with the inmates are typically rescued from shelters and often are close to being euthanized. Unwanted racing greyhounds scheduled to be destroyed also end up in some of these programs and get a chance to lead happier, more normal lives. Specialized inmate programs train some of the animals as service or therapy dogs, while still others work only with dogs suffering from heartworm disease or other problems.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. She writes travel, pet, gardening and technical articles, with work published in "Radiance Magazine" and the "AKC Gazette," as well as online. Quarters earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington State University and a master's degree in management information systems from West Coast University.

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