March 9, 2015
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Published March 9, 2015
To view the story online, visit: http://www.mypanhandle.com/story/d/story/dawgs-in-prison-graduation/22041/0lVuQw7bUEu-cxuQu_xlmg.
“We've had an inmate tell us before, you're in here, you're going to be doing time, but there's nothing like doing time with a dog,” said Judy Miick from the DAWGS in Prison Program.
“We start from the very beginning and its basic obedience. Inmates are taught how to clean their ears, brush their teeth, clip their toenails,” said Miick.
Graduating dogs are crate trained, housebroken, spayed or neutered, up to date on their shots, microchipped, and ready for adoption.
Both the dogs and the inmates benefit from this program.
“Our inmates, they not only learn how to work with the dogs but they learn how to work with each other; they learn to be patient, learn how to wait,” said Miick.
“We thought the whole idea was really really awesome. First of all on our side it was great to be able to have a trained dog right away because we have no experience with one whatsoever. And the whole idea of the kind of rehabilitative part of the DAWGS in Prison system really kind of appealed to us,” said adopter Andy Stansfield.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.