Floyd and Rocky

Floyd Tibbetts and Rocky

The Pups on Parole program, started by the staff of the California Correctional Center (CCC) and the Lassen (County) Humane Society, has produced a star – Rocky.

Rocky saved the life of Floyd Tibbetts, his adopted owner, and now is a finalist for the Humane Society of the United States’ Pets of Valor Award.

Here is an account of Rocky’s heroics from Mrs. Tibbetts:

“My husband, Floyd, is retired and likes to go ‘rock hounding’. I didn’t like him going by himself into remote locations. I remembered he expressed a desire to own a yellow Lab, which got me thinking about a program at work called Pups on Parole.  While browsing to see what pups they had, there he was – a yellow Lab named Rocky. How appropriate.

“I went to meet Rocky and learned about his ‘rocky’ past.  He had lead in his hip from being shot. He’d been abused, neglected and dropped off at the animal shelter and left in the cold at the end of December. Due to the abuse and neglect Rocky was very frightened and skittish. The animal shelter enrolled Rocky in the California Correctional Center’s Pups on Parole program, where the inmates nursed him back to health and trained him.

“I looked at Rocky, he looked at me and I knew right then he was intended for our family.  I adopted Rocky, surprised Floyd and they have been inseparable since.

“One day Floyd and Rocky went rock hounding at about 10:30 a.m. When I arrived home at 4:15 p.m., they weren’t home. I instantly knew something was wrong. I called my son and son-in-law and we immediately began searching.

“Floyd had collapsed and passed out in the woods in a remote location from a low heart rate. For 7½ hours Rocky stayed by his side, trying to wake him by licking his face and hands. Several times Floyd came to as a result of Rocky’s efforts, only to be disoriented from lack of blood flow to the brain. He was wandering around trying to find his truck. Rocky guided Floyd in the right direction toward the truck when he veered off course,

“With Rocky’s help, Floyd finally made it back to his truck and drove himself home arriving approximately 7 p.m. He was weak and dehydrated. I immediately took him to our local hospital where they transported him by ambulance to Reno with a heart rate of 26-28 beats per-minute, which resulted in Floyd receiving a pacemaker.  Thanks to Rocky, Floyd is alive TODAY!

“Rocky saved Floyd’s life of this I am certain.  Had he not stayed by his side, Floyd would have died in the woods and we would have never found him.

“Rocky’s our hero, he’s MY hero.”

You may vote for Rocky in the Lassen Humane Society’s Pets of Valor competition between May 24 and May 31, 2013, at www.humanesociety.org/petsofvalor.  (Note: This URL may not be accessible from a CDCR computer.)

Pups on Parole finds homes for dogs that the Lassen County Animal Shelter has been unable to adopt out.

Inmate firefighters serve as trainers for the dogs. The dogs learn how to interact with humans. They are taught basic commands such as sit, come, stay and down. They are also crate trained.

The training is overseen by Garth Renaud, Associate Hazardous Waste Materials Specialist.