DAWGS in Prison graduates Class 29

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 09:34 AM.

“What we do know, if any of these dogs could talk, is that every dog here starts as a blank canvas,” Christy said. “His destiny is etched by the hands of a painter. Paint with hostility and a dog learns to fight. Paint with cruelty and he learns fear.

“Paint with praise and a dog learns confidence. Paint with boundaries and he learns respect. Paint with tenderness and a dog learns to bond. Paint with affection and he learns to love.”

Each dog, Christy added, is therefore a product of environment. Bad dogs are not born – they are painted, Christy said.

“Look to the artist and stop blaming the dog,” she added. “Here at DAWGS in Prison we take the flawed portrait and paint over it.”

And the painters at DAWGS in Prison, those inmates, learn tools while teaching the dogs.

The inmates, just as with the dogs coming from the Humane Society, apply and are screened. They get with the program, providing round-the-clock care to the eight to 10 members of each class or they leave the program.

They must keep meticulous records on each dog’s care, from feeding to bathroom breaks to teeth brushing and grooming.

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