CSP-Los Angeles County celebrates good dogs and good work

LAC inmates earn dog-training certificates in Paws 4 Life program

Story and photos by Lt. Duane Bennett, AA/Public Information Officer
California State Prison-Los Angeles County

A ceremony at California State Prison-Los Angeles County (LAC) acknowledged the hard work of inmates to receive their dog-training certifications in the rehabilitative Paws for Life program.

Forty inmates are associated with Paws for Life, with an ever-increasing waiting list of inmates wanting to participate in the program that teaches them how to train rescue dogs in good behavior and socialization.

LAC currently has three dogs that have passed the Good Canine Citizenship program, which qualifies them to now go through the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) training for veterans and others suffering with PTSD. These dogs will receive specialized training via Karma Rescue, the nonprofit that operates Paws for Life, specific to helping people with PTSD.

The inmates’ family members were allowed to attend the ceremony. While talking with their family members some of the inmates’ statements about the program included: “This program not only helps the dogs, it also helps us as inmates to recognize who we are as people and the good we can do for others. It’s a win-win all the way around”; “The responsibility is challenging yet rewarding every time we go to the back to get the dogs for training and the dogs are happy to see us”; and, “That’s a feeling we never want to give up.”

Karma Rescue and LAC are hoping to increase the number of dogs for the PTSD training program. Associate Warden C. Woods and Capt. M. Wofford have been instrumental in the success of the program, going above and beyond to ensure the dogs are well taken care of, to include personally transporting them to the veterinary’s office when necessary. Woods has been with the program since its inception in June 2014.

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10 Responses

  1. andrew M OA (G) Friday, April 14, 2017 / 10:18 am

    this is a great program i would know i worked at LAC

  2. Bonnie Monday, April 10, 2017 / 9:25 am

    Thanks for helping to save the lives of the fur babies. They will be so grateful to their human and will someday probably save the lives of one!

    Maybe in the future more programs like this one will branch out to other institutions.

  3. Dr. Rachel Foster Thursday, March 16, 2017 / 8:22 am

    Please bring a program like this to CSP SAC! Our IPs would benefit greatly from a program like this. This is definitely a win-win situation! I don’t know if there is a vet tech educational program for inmates but that would be great too. Vocational programs such as vet tech, dog behavior trainer, etc would be amazing!

    Thank you for doing such great work LAC!

  4. Jacqueline Johnson, MSW Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    Warms my heart to read this…Thank you Gentlemen.

  5. Laarni Ramirez Monday, March 6, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Thank you for saving all these dogs and giving them a chance to be adopted to a forever home.
    Keep up the good work everyone!

    I have 3 furbabies of my own and they give me so much love and joy in my life.

  6. Eric Anderson Thursday, February 23, 2017 / 11:34 am

    As someone who has volunteered at numerous animal shelters in Central California, seeing this program succeed does my heart good!

  7. Lori R. Tuesday, January 31, 2017 / 7:21 am

    Great program for our veterans, and nice to save these dogs! Hoping the program grows to help more, and save more dog lives.

  8. Rose Monday, January 30, 2017 / 11:34 am

    I wish they had these programs in more facilities throughout the state because while the dogs are being trained, they are also giving their humans many lessons in patience, compassion, acceptance, etc. It’s a win-win situation for all!

  9. Debbie S Friday, January 27, 2017 / 10:28 am

    Thank you for saving these animals’ lives. I believe this program is good for all involved. Great work!

  10. Scott Tudehope Friday, January 27, 2017 / 10:18 am

    Doggone it, this is a good article! Nice job…

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