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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Media Advisory
September 4, 2009
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Media Day Planned for Sago Palm’s Prison Pups Program

Pahokee – Sago Palm Work Camp, in conjunction with New Horizons Service Dogs Inc., recently began an inmate program to train service dogs to assist persons with disabilities.  Currently eight dogs are in training at the prison.  Training lasts for 18 months and when complete, dogs are able to assist owners in standing, turning on light switches, opening and closing doors, retrieving dropped items and more. 

Media interested in seeing the program and speaking with volunteers and inmates are encouraged to attend.

When: Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10 a.m.

Where:  Sago Palm Work Camp, 500 Bay Bottom Road, Pahokee, FL 33476

Who:  Cotton, Denim, Gillis and other dogs in the program, inmate dog trainers, New Horizon Service Dogs Inc. volunteers and prison staff who brought the program to Sago Palm.

What:  The Prison Pups Program is an inmate vocational program.  Inmates involved will train and care for the dogs and can earn vocational certificates in dog grooming and training.  The program is a part of the Department’s re-entry initiative, which is focused on preparing inmates for successful re-entry into society.  These minimum custody inmates will one day return to Florida communities, like 88% of all Florida inmates.  This program helps teach the inmates confidence, commitment, compassion and control.  Upon completion of the program, dogs will receive additional training through New Horizons before being placed. 

Reporters:  Please contact the Office of Public Affairs for clearance at (850) 488-0420.