Paws & Stripes Saves Dogs, Helps Inmates

By  //  May 26, 2012

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Humane Society

Of the 13 dogs who graduated from the program, most are still available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs or if you would like any additional information about the program, contact Major Gregory Robertson at the Brevard County Jail Complex at 321-690-1505. (Images for

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Sheriff’s Office hosted the 22nd graduation ceremony of the Paws & Stripes program at the Jail Complex.  Sheriff Jack Parker implemented the program in the Jail Complex in September 2006 as a way to save dogs from being euthanized and give inmates better skills which could make them more employable and reduce recidivism. 

Sandi Scannelli, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Brevard presents check to Corrections Deputy Laura Soto. (Images for

The program has been very successful resulting in 186 dogs being adopted into loving homes.

The graduation was even more special as Sandi Scannelli, President/CEO of the Community Foundation of Brevard, presented the Paws & Stripes Program with a grant for $3,390.

The money was donated on behalf of the Marie Louise G. West Endowment Fund.  The costs associated with care and feeding of the dogs is completely funded through private donations.


“Our partnerships with Brevard County, the SPCA, and the Central Brevard Humane Society coupled with the generosity from citizens and organizations like the Community Foundation of Brevard make the Paws & Stripes program possible,” said Sheriff Parker.

‘Unadoptable Dogs’

The program trains inmates to work with dogs thought to be previously “unadoptable” and enrolls them into an eight-week obedience and behavior course.

Inmate Jamie Ketchum and with “Blue." (Image for

After being successfully trained by jail inmates, the dogs are then adopted into loving families.

“The Paws & Stripes program gave me a sense of responsibility and it taught me about caring for something other than myself, it’s a second chance for both the dogs and inmates,” said Mandi Gray, one of the jail inmates selected to train the dogs.

Inmates are taught how to handle the dogs and care for them.

Educational classes are taught to the inmates by staff and upon completion of the program inmates are awarded certificates from the American Boarding Kennels Association in Pet Care Technician level one, The American Red Cross Pet First Aid course and the Brevard County Jail Complex completion certificate.

Of the 13 dogs who graduated, most are still available for adoption.

If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs or if you would like any additional information about the program, contact Major Gregory Robertson at the Brevard County Jail Complex at 321-690-1505. You can see photos of all of the graduating dogs by going to and clicking on the Paws & Stripes link.  

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3 Comments on "Paws & Stripes Saves Dogs, Helps Inmates"

  1. Ann Allen June 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm · Reply

    Keep doing what you are doing! It is good for the animals and the inmates!!!!!!

  2. travis burton April 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm · Reply

    I am a graduate from the paws and stripes program under Cpl. abby & Cpl. B. I have to say that since graduating from paws and stripes it has greatly affected my whole life. The skills I was taught by these two awesome people and the ways they they teach and instruct those in the class are one of a kind! And thanks to them, I am now in college working on a masters degree in child psychology- substance abuse/mental disorders, and have started the work on getting dogs in treatment facilities as well as in adolescent facilities to use dogs in a treatment environment. I will be one the first to get these type of use of dogs in a treatment setting in NY,and have already gotten started with grants,funding,donations and people involved to make this a reality along with the ASPCA in NY. So again,Cpl. B and Ms. Soto,and Cpl. Abby keep up the awesome work you guys are doing,because thanks to yall and the Paws & Stripes program I am getting my degree and using it and what yall taught me to help children and our Veterans with PTSD and going to try and save as many dogs lives as I possibly can.

  3. joe mossa April 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm · Reply

    I adopted Axel last Aug. after he completed the program. He has been the best dog ever and is a great companion. I’m so thankful for the work that is being done at the Paws and Stripes program, every dog should have a chance at a forever home. Thanks again, Joe M.

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