DAWGS in prison graduates class 30

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 09:11 AM.

Sandy and Robert Voss of Calhoun County were on hand to adopt Ziva.

Sandy said that she heard about the DAWGS program on Facebook and kept an eye on it for a year before she and her husband decided that it was time to add another pet to the family.

They jumped at the chance to work with the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society and the program.

“The shelter is amazing,” said Sandy. “Why would you go any other way to adopt a dog? It’s the only shelter I’ve ever been to where my heart didn’t break.”

The Voss’ brought their current dog to the interview where it got to interact with Ziva, giving its sniff of approval.

The DAWGS program has been in existence for 4.5 years and during the eight-week program each canine receives around the clock care with more than 5,000 hours of training per dog.

“For one person to do that, it would take years,” said Major Neal Mercer with the Florida Department of Corrections during his welcome speech. “You’re not just getting a dog. It’s a whole lot more than that.”

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