Okeechobee Work Camp Partners with a Local Shelter to Start a New Inmate Dog Training Program
OKEECHOBEE, Fla. - Okeechobee Work Camp and the Loxahatchee Animal Rescue Community are partnering to provide a brighter future to inmate and dogs alike. The two organizations finalized a partnership agreement for the Pawsitive Direction Program (PDP), a new inmate dog training course, on December 23, 2015
“Our institution is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Loxahatchee Animal Rescue Community and Star Dog Obedience,” said Warden Lars Severson. “The Pawsitive Direction Program and others like it are essential to providing inmates the skills and resources they need to successfully re-enter Florida’s communities upon release.”
The program’s first five dogs arrive at the institution today, January 6. Ten inmates have been assigned to PDP as either canine caretakers or handlers. Melody Owens, owner of Star Dog Obedience, will teach the new students to train dogs in basic obedience, socialization and more. Graduating dogs will receive their AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate, increasing their chances for adoption into forever homes.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.