Press Release Author: William James / Glass Onyon PR
Industry: Human Resources
Press Release Summary: The inaugural graduation of the Wakulla Paws-In-Prison (WPIP) program will take place Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at Wakulla Correctional Institution
Press Release Body: August 9, 2008 - Crawfordville, Florida - The inaugural graduation of the Wakulla Paws-In-Prison (WPIP) program will take place Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at Wakulla Correctional Institution
In June, twelve dogs from the Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment (CHAT) Adoption Center entered the institution for an eight week program designed by nationally recognized dog trainer Jay King. King teaches inmates his "positive and pain-free" approach to dog obedience. "I'm called a dog trainer," King says, "but I'm more of a people trainer. Which can be more challenging than teaching an old dog new tricks!"
The WPIP program draws heavily on the part of the shelter population that has been there a long time, and whose window of adoptability is closing. All the dogs in the program were at risk of being euthanized, but now have a chance of finding an adoptive family. As one of the inmates said, "This program is about giving a dog a second chance."
Sheriff David Harvey, whose office operates the county animal shelter, was an early advocate for the program. "It's a win-win-win-win program," says the Sheriff. "The shelter gets relief from over-crowding, the inmates have their prison lives enriched, the public gets great animals to adopt, and the dogs, well, they win REAL big."
Inmates have to volunteer, and then be approved for the program. There's no pay, no gain-time, no special privileges given to volunteers. "Paws in Prison have been a great fit for fulfilling our mission of "Faith and Character," explains Warden, Russell Hosford. And results are already evident. "We have definitely seen improved attitude among the inmate population. And discipline issues have declined."
One of the big winners in this class is a Dalmatian/Lab mix named Captain. His inmate trainer contacted his own mother in New Hampshire, who flew down this week to sign the adoption papers for the dog her son, inmate Wilcoxson, has had responsibility for in the program. "He fell in love with that dog in there," the mother said. "I couldn't believe what he was telling me about how he felt about that animal. I had to do it."
Upon graduation the all the dogs will be available to the public for adoption. Cathy Sherman, who directs the program for CHAT, says the graduating dogs are "turn-key pets: spayed and neutered, house broken, crate trained, socialized with both humans and dogs, healthy, and well versed in all the important obedience commands." Owning a well trained dog can lead to a life full of loving companionship.
For information about the program or adopting a Paws in Prison dog, please contact: Cathy Sherman. firstname.lastname@example.org PH: 850-264-4511