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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
January 7, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Department of Corrections receives $1,000 donation from Build-A-Bear Workshop Grant to assist shelter dog training programs


TALLAHASSEE -- The Corrections Foundation recently received a $1,000 Build-A-Bear Workshop Grant to benefit the dog training programs at Wakulla and Taylor Correctional Institutions. Both the Paws in Prison (PIP) dog training program at Wakulla CI and the Undergoing Training and Obedience in Prison to Increase Adoptability (UTOPIA) program at Taylor CI have had excellent success in placing more than 100 dogs in good homes last year. The UTOPIA dogs come from the Leon Community Animal Service Center, and the PIP dogs come from Wakulla’s Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment (CHAT) facility.

The $1,000 grant will be used to purchase much needed supplies such as collars, dog food, treats, leashes and shampoo for these two DC programs helping to train animal shelter dogs for successful adoption and life-long homes.

The Corrections Foundation supports the programs, personnel, and services of the Florida Department of Corrections through grants, contributions, and community partnerships in the interest of public safety.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families and pets in need of a helping paw. With the sale of each full-sized Bearemy Kennel Pals® friend – a collection of programs including local animal shelters, stray pet rescues, rehabilitation organizations, and pet education programs around the country benefit.

You can ensure successful placement of the dogs trained in our DC programs by referring friends, coworkers and family to the following sites in Leon county www.talgov.com/animals/utopia.cfm and Wakulla county http://www.chatofwakulla.org/prison.html to find a well trained dog to become a lifelong friend.

The UTOPIA and PIP dogs are paired with inmate trainers at the Taylor CI and Wakulla CI to receive socialization and basic obedience training. All dogs participating in the two programs must complete a minimum of eight weeks of training before being adopted.

The UTOPIA and PIP adoption fees are $150.00. Services included in the adoption fee are: Behavioral assessment, health assessment, rabies vaccine, tag and certificate, other vaccinations appropriate for age, sterilization surgery, AVID microchip, Heartworm testing for dogs six months and older and basic obedience training. All are spayed or neutered.