Due to COVID-19 concerns, as of March 16, 2020 all service dog program activities will be held remotely for current clients. Our service dog applications and wait list are closed through June 1, 2020. Please see our COVID-19 page for the most up-to-date info.
Dog Training Program
Prison Pet Partnership is announcing an expansion of our Dog Training Program. We also offer Board and Train services to our boarding clients!
Would you like to sponsor a rescue dog or puppy?
A puppy who enters our program needs up to two years of care, training and love! Your support would help cover the costs for veterinary care, vaccines, genetic screenings, food, leashes, toys, beds, bowls, foster family supplies and so much more!
Dog Training Program Goals
- Provide vocational education to women inmates in the dog training and behavior field
- Rehabilitate homeless pets and place them in permanent, loving homes
- Serve the community by placing trained Assistance Dogs and companion animals
Where We Have Been
For over 30 years, PPP has tried to achieve these goals by rescuing dogs for women inmates to train service dogs for individuals with disabilities.
The Prison Pet Partnership Service Dog Program is expanding and restructuring to become the Dog Training Program.
Rescue and Train-to-Adopt
Rescuing dogs and providing them with basic obedience training, AKC Canine Good Citizenship certification, and adoption as companion pets.
How this helps achieve our goals
- Enhances vocational education by offering inmates the opportunity to work with a variety of dogs
- Helps homeless pets by allowing PPP to rescue more dogs, including dogs that need our help
Service Dog Training
Taking a targeted approach to acquiring dogs in order to maximize the success rate of Assistance Dog placements. These may include rescue dogs, donated puppies or adult dogs from responsible breeders, and/or establishing a small scale purpose-bred dog program.
How this helps achieve our goals
- Allows inmate trainers to learn more about service dogs, including puppies, clients, and training
- We can better meet the needs of the disabled community by placing more dogs
Providing obedience training to community-owned dogs (and their owners!) through a Board and Train program as well as dog training and handling classes for Prison Pet Partnership volunteers.
How this helps achieve our goals
- Provides inmate trainers an opportunity to develop professional dog-training skills
- Allows inmate trainers to connect with the community by providing training to privately-owned dogs
Answers to Common Questions
Hasn’t PPP always been about rescuing dogs? Wouldn’t this change the identity of PPP?
Rescue dogs are and continue to be a key aspect of PPP. However, placing Assistance Dogs has always been of equal importance. In fact, PPP has occasionally accepted purebred dogs to try and meet the needs of our Assistance Dog clients. By approaching these two goals separately, we’ll be in a better position to help more rescued dogs and place more Assistance Dogs.
Rescue dogs can make just as good assistance dogs as purebred dogs, can’t they?
Yes, in fact they can. We have had dozens of rescue dogs placed as service and therapy dogs over the years. The facts are however that there are fewer dogs available via rescue groups and shelters that are appropriate to train and place as service dog. Our goal is to not only help train and place rescue dogs but also meet the needs of the clients on our waiting list by increasing the number of dogs that can be placed as service dogs.
What about all of the homeless dogs in shelters that need a home?
We are looking forward to being of more benefit to area shelters and rescues. By relaxing our initial assessment criteria, we will be able to take in and train those dogs that are more likely to be overlooked at the shelter (older, smaller, etc).
If it’s so hard to find the types of Assistance Dogs in shelters, why not just place another type of dog? Don’t they use shelter dogs as hearing dogs?
Yes, shelter dogs have frequently been used as hearing dogs in the past. However, the high demand for adopting family dogs from shelters is even affecting them. Many hearing dog organizations are starting to accept donated puppies or breed their own. Most importantly, we have applicants who have been waiting for a service dog for many years. Changing the types of dogs would mean these individuals would have to wait even longer for a dog — or that we would never be able to partner them with a dog.
Doesn’t breeding continue the cycle of dogs in shelters?
We understand the concern regarding unwanted animals and the challenge they pose on communities. The reality is that it takes a very specific temperament and skill level to become an Assistance Dog. Using our current model, it would take us over 38 years to train and place dogs with those currently on our waiting list. With our new model, we can help more rescue dogs and place more Assistance Dogs.
Do those on your waitlist have the option of getting a dog elsewhere?
Some do and some don’t. While some have the means to travel to other organizations, many of our applicants are unable to do so — for physical or financial reasons. As a result, many applicants come to us who wouldn’t be able to get a dog elsewhere. Many applicants also firmly believe in our mission to help women inmates and they want to be a part of that mission.
Getting A Dog
Thank you for your interest in applying for an Assistance Dog through Prison Pet Partnership. Our waitlist for mobility service dogs, seizure response service dogs, personal therapy and facility dogs is currently open. If you are interested in receiving an assistance dog, please email email@example.com for an application. You can also continue to check our website for changes or updates to our application status.
Our Paroled Pet Program is currently in the process of being restructured. When it is up and running, PPP will have Canine Good Citizen tested, well trained dogs available for adoption. These animals will have a strong foundation in basic commands such as loose leash walking, sit, down, stay, polite greetings, and kennel skills. Check this page for any updates on the program, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions.
Prison Pet Partnership would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Addiction Pet Foods for their generous donation of dog and cat food to our training program!