VIDEO: BCSO, Eastern Florida State Partner Together To Launch ‘Paws and Stripes College’
By Sheriff Wayne Ivey // December 14, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Sheriff Wayne Ivey addressed the media and thanked supporters who helped make the Paws and Stripes College possible over the weekend.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – This past Friday we were proud to launch “Paws and Stripes College” which is our newest program to help animals in our community through innovation, partnerships, and compassion.
The “Paws and Stripes College” is a partnership with Eastern Florida State College’s (EFSC) Veterinarian Technician Program, which now becomes the next generation of our current Paws & Stripes® Program.
The basic tenants of the original program remain in place while serving as the foundation for the newly formed “College”.
Selected canine graduates of the original 8 week course will now move into the advanced training program to serve our community as PTSD dogs, therapy dogs, child victim advocate dogs, dogs to assist in computer crimes and crimes against children investigations, along with dogs that can detect epileptic seizures in children, all of which will be given away at no cost!
Additionally, we plan to train dogs that can detect termites and other types of invasive and destructive insects that could be used commercially to assist in financially supporting the new initiative.
EFSC’s Veterinarian’s Program will be an integral partner by providing basic medical care to our canine students, while gaining invaluable “hands on training and experience” in their new chosen profession.
To accommodate this new and innovative program, the Sheriff’s Office was able to refurbish a building that was previously abandoned by the Department of Corrections when the Brevard County Work Camp was closed.
The facility has been renovated into a world class training facility through the use of inmate welfare funds and inmate labor.
This program is a win/win/win initiative that frees up kennel space in the local Public and Private Animal Care Centers, provides dogs a forever home, provides an incredible resource to those in need, helps increase our Live Release Rate, provides college students a strong practical application for their area of study, and teaches inmates a job skill that can be utilized to decrease the recidivism rate of incarceration.
The original Paws & Stripes® program has been in existence since September of 2006, and is a successful partnership between the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Brevard Humane Society, and the SPCA of North Brevard.
This program pairs carefully selected and trained Jail inmates with shelter dogs that struggle to find homes.
To date, over 300 dogs have graduated and been saved through this amazing program.
During this eight-week course, inmates train their canine partners to be responsive to both voice commands and hand signals.
The dogs are housebroken and learn all basic obedience skills to include: heel, sit, down, stay, and come. At the end of their training, the canine recruits are tested by an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and receive their CGC Certification prior to finding a permanent home.
Once the dogs graduate from the basic program they are then taken to the next level of training if suitable so they can develop one of the specialized skills that were listed above.
In addition, the inmates who participate in the Paws and Stripes® Program gain a sense of accomplishment while they learn techniques in dog training, general pet grooming, and veterinary assistant skills.
In addition, they complete a Pet First Aid and CPR course and are given the opportunity to acquire their Level 1 Certification from the International Boarding and Pet Care Services Association. This, in turn, can be very useful in job placement upon their release from the Brevard County Jail.
During Friday’s “Ribbon Cutting” and Grand Opening I was honored to be joined by many distinguished guests such as Dr. Jim Richey, President, Eastern Florida State College, Bob Socks, Titusville Chamber of Commerce, Teresa Clifton, Central Brevard Humane Society, Patrick Fox, SPCA, Katherine Johnson of the Friends For Animals Sanctuary, and the many members of our agency and community for attending the inaugural Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Paws and Stripes College.
Please join me in congratulating everyone involved in this incredible opportunity for our pets who now get a second chance at a loving family, our inmates who are being provided an opportunity for skills and success after completing their debt to society, and the EFSC students who will receive real life experience while providing care and service to our Animal Care Center pet patients.
I also want to commend the efforts of our Paws and Stripes Unit, Lisa Vennard, Barre Taylor, and Clara Mutter who created the design for the new facility and Kurt Kolczynski who facilitated the construction project using inmate labor. Without their efforts this new program would not be where it is today!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft.
That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today.
The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.