Dogs with poor social skills meet prison inmates with poor social skills, and what is born is DAWGS in Prison. DAWGS is an acronym for Developing Adoptable Dogs With Good Sociability. The DAWGS in Prison program is in partnership with the St. Joseph Humane Society and the Gulf Correctional Institution in Florida.
The mission of the DAWGS in Prison program is to provide training and education for both inmate and dog, resulting in permanent homes for the dogs, viable job skills for the inmate and productive jobs, and a law-abiding life upon release.
Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life.
For eight weeks, dogs that are picked as good candidates for this program attend training camp at the Gulf Forestry Camp under the direction of the Gulf Correctional Institute in Wewahitchka, Florida. Inmates of the Gulf Correctional Institute that have gone through intensive training with professional dog trainers work with the dogs.
The dogs are all being prepared for adoption and must learn skills such as leash training, and all are expected to know basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and heel and to be able to respond to no and leave it. They are all crate trained, house trained, and are up to date on all vaccines, heartworm as well as being spayed or neutered. The dogs must undergo a temperament test and get along well with other dogs and people. Upon completion of their eight-week course, the dogs are fully available for adoption.
For the inmates that have the opportunity to work with these dogs, they will learn very viable real-world skills working in the animal service industry and be able to be gainfully employed upon release from prison. And even more importantly, they learn about responsibility, unconditional love, and companionship – something that many of these inmates have never experienced.
A QUOTE FROM ONE OF OUR DAWGS INMATES, AFTER HE WAS RELEASED: ” I woke up during my first year of the DAWGS program. My attitude changed. My routine changed. My health changed. My priorities changed. Everything changed in my life in order for me to be responsible enough to take care of one of God’s precious creations. DAWGS gave me the wisdom to see what kind of changes were needed in my life in order to be a productive citizen again after a total of 26 years behind bars. “
If you would like to make a donation to help with the DAWGS in Prison program, please read more here. And if you are looking to adopt one of these very special dogs, please read more here.
Published May 19, 2012 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Jul 28, 2023 at 1:56 am