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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary


Media Advisory
December 31, 2015
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Elaine McClain
Public Information Officer
Marion County Government
Contact: Email
Office: 352-438-2314

MEDIA EVENT: INAUGURAL FIDO PROJECT CLASS GRADUATION AT MARION CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION

Photo opportunities/interviews available

WHO: Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) and Marion County Animal Services (MCAS).
WHAT: FIDO Project graduation. Media representatives are invited to the graduation ceremony and will have an opportunity to interview and photograph/film inmates and program participants.
WHEN: Wednesday, January 6, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Marion Work Camp
3269 NW 105th St.
Lowell, Florida 32663-0158
WHY: Four Marion County Animal Services shelter dogs have been living at the Marion Correctional Institution since November 2015, receiving training in basic obedience and socialization from select inmates under supervision of a certified dog trainer. These dogs make up the inaugural class of the FIDO Project (Florida Inmates and Dog Obedience), a partnership between MCI and MCAS. The goal of this program is to teach inmates life skills and marketable experience, while helping dogs earn their American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen certificates, the gold standard for dog behavior.

Each of the dogs has successfully passed the AKC exam and received its Canine Good Citizen certificates, and Wednesday, Jan. 6, marks the official graduation.

Since entering the program, all of the dogs have been adopted, though the families will have to wait until Jan. 6 to bring their new pets home. The new owners met the dogs at two outings during the program, which allow the dogs to have additional socialization time as well as an opportunity to meet potential adopters. As is true for all adoptable dogs at Marion County Animal Services, the $50 adoption fee includes the spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, microchip and county license.

Through programs like the FIDO Project, the Department of Corrections is focusing on teaching inmates viable job skills that will lead them to productive jobs and law-abiding lives upon release.
CONTACT: IMPORTANT: If you wish to attend the FIDO Project graduation ceremony, please contact the Department of Corrections' Office of Communications at (850) 488-0420 as soon as possible, as attendees will need to complete and submit a Media Access Form.

Please note: No video or photos may be taken without the prior consent and approval from Department staff at the event. No cell phones or cameras will be permitted inside the institution.

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As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 23,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.

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