Beaver County Humane Society Sends Shelter Dogs to Jail
This past August, BCHS sent three of our longest-tenured dogs to the state-run prison SCI-Forest… and the staff couldn’t be happier for them! The three dogs – Sissy, Harley, and Betty Davis – were transferred as part of the prison’s Pups Are Worth Saving (P.A.W.S.) program. P.A.W.S. was established in 2012 with the dual purpose of helping both the dogs and inmates. Shelter dogs that are difficult to adopt due to age, behavior, or other factors, are given a second as they are trained in socialization as well as skills needed to be a service dog. Even if the dogs do not meet the requirements for a service dog after the 12-week program, they will at least be returned to the shelter highly adoptable after receiving over 2,000 hours of monitoring and training from the inmates – the value of the training is equal to several thousands of dollars.
Benefits for the Inmates
The inmates (which are carefully screened for the program) are given a sense of pride, accomplishment, and giving back to society, with the hope that this program will prepare and aid them for re-entry into society. The inmates training is directed by Paul Anthony, the owner of A&B Canine in Industry, PA, is assisting the inmates in weekly training sessions.
Life After Jail
After their 12-week stay in jail, the hope for the dogs is that they will “graduate” to become a canine assisted advocacy dog for Pups Providing Hope. PUPS partners with the Center for Victims in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood and the Beaver County women’s Center to provide canine assisted advocacy dogs which help in calming and healing victims of abuse, violence, and addiction. This calming effect can especially be useful with child victims, allowing interviews with police officers and forensic teams to become less stressful. Often this allows the child to become more communicative which will hopefully lead to higher prosecution rates.
Follow their Story
As a part of the program, the inmates are required to keep a daily log containing details on the dog’s behavior and training progress. We were lucky to be approached by two students from Geneva College who are required to complete a service project as part of their public relations class. They are helping BCHS launch a blog, documenting the journey of our jail dogs. It should be available soon.
Sponsor a Shelter Dog in Jail
New dogs will enter the program every 12-weeks. Participation in this program comes at a cost, with $300 being required to sponsor one dog. Your generosity helps provide food, crates, flea & tick collars, toys, training tools, and veterinary care for our shelter dogs while they are part of this training program. Please consider a donation to help make a difference in a dog’s life.
You can help sponsor a Beaver County Humane Society dog by mailing a check to: Beaver County Humane Society, 3394 Brodhead Road, Center Township, PA 15001 (notate “P.A.W.S. to Pups - Jail Dogs” in the check memo line). You can also donate online by clicking the button below.