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Paws In Prison 

  Emma   Patches

Paws in Prison is made possible through ADC's partnership with animal shelters and advocate groups around the state. Selected inmates have the opportunity to become trainers of rescue dogs in the program. Inmates work with the dogs teaching them basic obedience skills and properly socializing the animals, making them more adoptable. Last year in Arkansas, hundreds of homeless dogs were euthanized. 

The benefits of this program are three-fold. The Paws in Prison program will reduce the number of animals who perish by better preparing them to be loving, obedient and adoptable pets. The program will give inmates the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and reentry – and ultimately improve public safety. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the inmates to do something positive for the communities of Arkansas. In states where similar programs operate, they have had a profound impact on inmates and staff, thus improving security and the quality of life inside the institutions. 

ADC modeled its program after a similar one in the Missouri prison system.  In August 2011, a four-person team representing ADC traveled to Missouri to see first-hand how that program operates and get ideas on how to implement a successful program in Arkansas. The group included Board of Corrections Vice Chair Mary Parker, former ADC Assistant Director Dina Tyler, ADC Public Information Officer Shea Wilson and Renie Rule, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences executive director of development.

Rule has been instrumental in developing Arkansas’ program and is its founding patron. Without her generous personal donation, the program could not have started when it did.

Paws in Prison is supported by private donations and the sale of recyclables. You can donate online or mail your donation to Paws in Prison, c/o Arkansas Department of Correction, PO Box 8707, Pine Bluff, AR 71611. There is no state budget for the program.

Paws in Prison is a non-profit program of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Make your tax-deductible donations today and save the lives of dogs. Thanks!

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