The 4 Paws Prison Program collaborates with prisons in Ohio and Kentucky, engaging inmates in a mutually beneficial program aimed at raising and training service dogs. These inmates, some of whom have been with the program a long time and now possess extensive experience in dog training and specialize in addressing specific behavioral needs, are given the opportunity to dedicate their time around the clock to the dogs under their care.
The 4 Paws Prison Program is an excellent training opportunity for service dogs in training due to the consistent one-on-one training the dogs receive. It also provides an excellent opportunity to train and prepare 4 Paws service dogs in training before they are placed with volunteer trainers.
Prior to becoming dog handlers, inmates must undergo an evaluation process to ensure their eligibility, which includes maintaining a positive behavioral record and disqualifying certain offenses such as domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, and sex offenses. This precautionary measure is implemented to safeguard the well-being of the dogs.
The 4 Paws Prison Program not only enables inmates to develop patience and nurturing skills through their partnership with the dogs but also enhances their prospects for reintegration into society by equipping them with valuable employment skills. The presence of the 4 Paws Prison Program has proven to be transformative for some inmates, aiding them in rebuilding their lives.