"Pawsitive Second Chances" Dog Training in Jail
For Immediate Release 02/11/20
“PAWSITIVE SECOND CHANCES” DOG TRAINING IN JAIL
******** Puppies and Female Inmates Graduate from Program
(Yaphank, NY) On Monday, February 10, 2020, Sheriff Errol D. Toulon Jr. held a graduation ceremony for six female inmates participating in a unique puppy-training program at the Yaphank Correctional Facility. This celebration took place at the Yaphank Correctional Facility in the Choose to Thrive Pod where the program currently resides.
In December 2018, Sheriff Toulon unveiled the Choose to Thrive Female Program Pod in the Yaphank Correctional Facility. The program uses a holistic approach to helping women behind bars get back into mainstream society. From trauma counseling to assistance for the inmates' children, the women are in a structured program where they can choose the courses or services they want. This is the first program pod offered to the female general population.
"Sometimes it's just that one little thing that can be transformative and that can put someone over the top to realize what they can achieve," Toulon said of the program.
"Pawsitive Second Chances" is a program designed and developed by Working Paws Training, Inc. where puppies are brought into the jail and are trained in basic obedience skills by the inmates. The puppies get exposure and socialization to various different sounds, smells, and visual stimuli, and the inmates get the opportunity to nurture the pups.
The Pawsitive Second Chances program enhances a shelter dog’s adoptability and placement into programs. After completing the program these puppies are highly desirable for adoption and the program ensures long-term success for both humans and canines. At the same time, Working Paws helps to open the inmates’ eyes to a world of training and provides them with options for life outside of prison.
Deborah Whitney, founder and CEO of Working Paws, Inc., said, “The dog doesn’t ever hold anything against anyone. It’s unconditional regardless of what you as a person have done.”
After training, the puppies are available for adoption through Save-a-Pet Rescue, Inc., a no kill animal shelter in Port Jefferson Station, NY. Working Paws, Inc. and Save-a-Pet Rescue, Inc. work together to help adopt and save the animals together as a team.