By Lt. Barry Tisdale, AA/PIO
California Health Care Facility

Costumed canines made their way through the High Acute Units at California Health Care Facility (CHCF) to celebrate Halloween. The festive pooch parade brought smiles to inmates and staff alike.

CHCF boasts nine inmate dog handlers facilitated through Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). At CHCF, it’s called the BARK (Behavior, Attitude, Rehabilitation, Knowledge) program. The Halloween parade was a first for the institution.

Organizers Tina Morones, AGPA, and inmate dog handlers said there was such a good response that they plan to do it for Christmas as well. They also hope it will turn into an annual event.

Morones and handlers came up with the idea and planned the parade. There are currently six dogs undergoing training at CHCF.

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Learn more about the CCI program at