Sissy, after spending many, many months at the Shelter, is adopted after only ONE day in the Puppies for Parole program in Boonville, MO
In the summer of 2012 we had occasion to adopt a puppy out to a family from the Boonville area. During the course of our visit together and completing of the paperwork, the gentleman shared that he worked at the Boonville Correctional Center and that their facility was interested in starting a Puppies for Parole program. I had vaguely heard of this, and he was able to explain to me how it works. Dogs from area shelters are brought into the prison and assigned to offender-handlers who learn dog training techniques and then teach the dogs various skills. The dogs go through the "Canine Good Citizenship" program through the American Kennel Club, and graduate from the program in approximately 8 weeks. Most of the dogs participating are adopted before they ever graduate from the program. Most of the prisons in Missouri have been participating in this program for several years now, but Boonville had never started. I became excited about the possibilities, and asked if our shelter could be considered when they started the program. He promised to contact us, and several months later we began the process of agreements between the City of Marshall and the Missouri Department of Corrections.
We were able to send our first two dogs to the prison the first week of February, Sissy and Douglas (Sissy is pictured above). There was a great deal of excitement at the prison the day they walked those first two pups in, and you can imagine our excitement here as well. I had a call that afternoon from my friend at the prison. He reported that they had a prison staff member who had seen Sissy and wanted to adopt her. She hadn't even been there 24 hours! Needless to say, I was immediately HOOKED on this program!
Two more dogs joined the program the first week of March. I'm thrilled to report that as of March 19, all four dogs have been adopted, and will join their new families as soon as they complete their program and graduate.
Stay tuned for future blog posts about this program. For further information, check out the Department of Corrections web page about Puppies for Parole at http://doc.mo.gov/DAI/P4P.php If you or someone you know is interested in more information about how to adopt one of our dogs in the P4P program, you can call the Shelter at the number listed to the right of this post.