DAWGS in Prison graduates Class 29


Class 29 for the DAWGS in Prison program. The program has now saved more than 300 dogs while providing skills to more than 300 inmates.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

Last week Andy sniffed out a new path for the DAWGS in Prison program.

One of the graduates from the program’s Class 29, Andy left last Wednesday for Arizona, making it 17 states and counting that have received a newly-trained canine from the Developing Adoptable Dogs with Good Sociability (DAWGS) in Prison program based at the Gulf Forestry Camp.

The number of states will increase with the next graduation in eight weeks when a dog will be adopted by a family in Chicago, adding Illinois to the list.

“We started this for the dogs but we continue this for the impact it also has on the inmates,” said Sandi Christy, with Judy Miick co-director of the DAWGS in Prison program. “I feel a sense of peace about this program. It is like I was meant to do this.”

DAWGS in Prison is one of the benchmark programs for the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society.

The program was featured at the top of the list last week during a community partnership meeting hosted with Gulf Correctional Institute as an example of initiatives aimed at returning inmates to society as productive individuals.

As of last week, the program has graduated 308 dogs in four-plus years while more than 320 inmates have been accepted, after applying, into the program, moving up a ladder from caretaker to trainer to lead trainer.

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