Prison Pet Partnership Program

A nonprofit organization

1 Donor

The Prison Pet Partnership Program, operating within Washington State criminal justice system, has been a model for the nation in the rehabilitation of offenders. It began in 1981 as the result of a collaborative effort between Sister Pauline, a Dominican nun, and the late Dr. Leo Bustad, former chair of Washington State University’s veterinary program, who believed that inmate rehabilitation could be facilitated by the human-animal bond. The Prison Pet Partnership Program now helps inmates at WCCW learn how to train, groom and board dogs from within the prison walls. Since its inception, the program has placed over 700 dogs as Service, Seizure, Therapy Dogs and in families as Paroled Pets in the Pacific Northwest. The Program teaches boarding and grooming skills to women inmates so they can find gainful employment in the pet industry upon release. The Program works with local animal shelters to select homeless dogs which are good candidates for becoming service dogs to provide independence, self-confidence and mobility for persons with disabilities. Under the guidance of the Program’s Service Dog Program Manager, inmates train service dogs which will be matched with persons with disabilities through team training and on-going assistance. Dogs brought into the Program for service dog training which are unable to meet the strenuous physical and psychological demands of service dog work, are placed in loving homes as “paroled pets,” or as therapy dogs.

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Prison Pet Partnership Program

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