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Pawsitive Dog Prison Pup

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Pawsitive Dog Prison Training Program is a cooperative effort between the Airway Heights Correctional Center, SpokAnimal, and Diamonds in the Ruff. Offender handlers train shelter dogs to make them more adoptable under the guidance of professional dog trainers Kim Imel, CPDT-KA and Carol Byrnes, CPDT-KA using force free positive training methods.

The dogs live in the cells with their offender handlers and get to train with them throughout the day, every day. Trainers Carol and Kim meet with the offenders and dogs weekly to review the work they have been doing and work on the next week's assignments. And, for every bit as much as the dogs grow and improve, the staff and offenders report the positive changes they see as a direct result of having the dogs in the prison. When asked what was the biggest impact of the text book they were assigned ("Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor), one offender stated that it had has a big impact, that "if my parents had raised him the way the book described, I wouldn't be here [in prison]." Others commented that after so much taking from people which led them to prison, this was an opportunity to give back.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Location 710 N Napa Street, Spokane WA 99202
Status Active
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • English
  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal-assisted therapies
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animals in culture
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Dogs
  7. Health
  8. Mammals
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. Physical environment
  11. Prisons
  12. Rehabilitation
  13. Social Environments