Inmate Dog Training Program Enriches Prisoners’ and Rescue Pups’ Lives

It’s a symbiotic relationship: inmates train rescue dogs so they can be re-housed, and many of the inmates practice dog training as a lifelong profession. Marley’s Mutts Rescue Ranch, Colorado, has launched this rehabilitation program for puppies and inmates called Pawsitive Change. Green Matters emailed the program’s founder, a graduate of the program, and the founder of Grounds & Hounds, a philanthropic coffee company that partnered with Rescue this month.

“Some of the toughest shelter dogs are put into a 14-week supervised training program led by prison inmates where the dogs are socialized for adoption,” explains Grounds & Hounds’ Jordan Karcher. “At the same time, the prisoners learn valuable skills through the program, not only professional animal training, but also the basics of leadership and teamwork.”

Pawsitive Change has a strong origin story.

As mentioned earlier, Pawsitive Change is a program run by Marley’s Mutts Rescue Ranch that connects inmates with dogs coming from animal shelters with high kills. The program teaches inmates to properly train the dogs, and they each end up receiving an award for a good dog – and ideally, they are adopted. It also inspires many of the inmates to take dog training after their release from prison … and nearly 100 percent of the graduates stayed out of prison afterwards.

“The Pawsitive Change Program came about after we adopted a dog who was shot and killed a gentleman who had just escaped from prison. That dog would change his life and help him fulfill his myriad animal welfare jobs, including starting up His own salvation! After the change in his life, we knew we had to get the program into the prison system, “says Zach Skow, founder of Marley’s Mutts and his Pawsitive Change Program.

Article continues under advertising

“Our program is changing [the inmates’] Life in Many Ways … they gain self-worth, self-worth, and self-love by working with shelter dogs whose lives they are saving. Mutual rescue and rehab is what it really is! “He explains.

Article continues under advertising

Pawsitive Change enriches prisoners’ lives in several ways.

Dogs are an incredibly enriching and life changing addition to life. Having a pet has been proven to lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, according to the CDC. It also motivates you to take responsibility for others, and this program in particular inspires participants to pursue dog training as a lifelong career. For Daniel Robinson, who graduated from the 2017 program, it happened this way, and he says it opened many doors for him.

“My experience with the Pawsitive Change Program has been amazing in many ways! It opened so many doors for me – figuratively and otherwise, ”he explains. “The program created an environment in which we have been able to instill a sense of humanity within ourselves and enable us to become the compassionate, benevolent leaders the dogs need to thrive in society. “

Article continues under advertising

Robinson says the chance to interact with dogs really changed his life.

“The Pawsitive Change Program changed my life by giving me the guided purpose and means to teach dogs and their owners how to bond stronger, healthier together,” he says. “It gives every dog ​​a real chance to find a happy, loving home. It has also given me the opportunity to give people in society the much-needed perspective on the source of untapped potential in every incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individual.”

Now Robinson runs a full dog training business.

“I currently run my private dog training company, Doggy Jitsu,” he tells us. “At the moment I am not looking after a dog, but I am tirelessly looking for the right dog who is my companion and my most important collaborator. I hope to find a dog with the right temperament to help me with many more dogs that have been in trouble for a long time are to rehabilitate the future. “

Article continues under advertising

Skow hopes this will change the prison system.

As we know, the prison system is incredibly flawed, but Pawsitive Change is literally rehabilitating – it gives inmates something to do that is mentally stimulating and healing, while creating potential future careers at the same time.

Article continues under advertising

“[The human participants] learn to be aware of their energy, to accept love, to accept constructive criticism and guidance and – this is very important – towards the world outside their race, ”says Skow. “The prison is radically separated. In the long term, more than half of our graduates who have been dismissed have found a job or founded companies in the pet industry! “

“My hope for the prison is that we will take care of those who are incarcerated by offering programs like ours in prison,” he continues. “Without programming, we will continue to have a relapse rate of 75 percent. We hope the program will be added to as many prisons as possible. It’s a 100 percent scalable program that our community should invest in. “

Article continues under advertising

Source: Grounds & Hounds

Grounds & Hounds will donate all profits from its Rescue Mixture to Pawsitive Change through July.

Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. has partnered with Marley’s Mutts to promote and support this incredible program. By the end of July, the brand will donate 100 percent of profits from its ever-popular Rescue Roast ($ 14.99) to Marley’s Mutts’ Pawsitive Change Program. Grounds & Hounds founder Jordan Karcher says the funds will be used to expand the program to more correctional facilities.

Article continues under advertising

In fact, this is the second time we’ve partnered with Marley’s Mutts Pawsitive Change through Rescue Roast. Our first outing grossed nearly $ 10,000 and helped Marley’s Mutts expand to additional correctional facilities. This time around, Rescue Roast funding will help take the program to the next level, “says Karcher.

“Outstanding dog graduates from the program are selected for additional training to become emotional support animals. These pups are then given away to a veteran in need for free. We’d definitely love to see the new heights that are.” we would achieve if we worked with Marley’s Mutts on a third Rescue Roast program. “

Article continues under advertising

Rescue roast

Source: Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

Both dogs and humans deserve a second chance – and this program clearly recognizes that.

Comments are closed.