Puppies for Parole
Puppies for Parole is a unique program made possible through our partnerships with animal shelters and animal advocate groups statewide. Selected offenders have the opportunity to become trainers to rescue dogs in the program. Offenders work with the dogs teaching them basic obedience skills and properly socializing the animals, making them more adoptable. Once the dogs have successfully completed the program, they will be adopted through their original shelter.
There are multiple benefits to this program. Puppies for Parole gives offenders the skills necessary to support successful rehabilitation and reentry, ultimately improving public safety. At the same time, this is an opportunity for the offenders to re-pay Missouri communities and repair some of the debts caused by their crimes. We have seen this program have a profound effect on the inmates and staff, increasing the safety and security of the facility.
"The dogs have a remarkable impact on MDOC offenders, improving offender behavior and giving offenders incentive to maintain excellent conduct records. Offenders not directly involved in the program are showing responsibility and selflessness by donating to support our efforts. Staff morale is also enhanced by the presence of the dogs."
The program also saves dogs' lives. Many dogs that were unwanted and would have been euthanized have found forever homes through the program. More than 1,000 dogs have graduated from the program and have been adopted. Some of these dogs were specially trained to work with the disabled, special needs children, veterans and mental health patients.
Finally, Puppies for Parole uses no general revenue and operates solely on private donations and donations from offender organizations.