Paws & Stripes Saves Dogs, Helps Inmates
By SpaceCoastDaily // May 26, 2012
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.
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.
The program trains inmates to work with dogs thought to be previously “unadoptable” and enrolls them into an eight-week obedience and behavior course.
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 BrevardSheriff.com and clicking on the Paws & Stripes link.