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 Blog Post

Laurel Highlands Celebrates Dog Training Program

September 01, 2022 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

A dog laying by the feet of an inmate handler

On August 24, SCI Laurel Highlands held a celebration dedicated to the hard-working volunteers and inmate dog handlers that make the prison puppy program a success. Laurel Highlands works with Canine Partners for Life (CPL), which sends dogs into several DOC prisons and as part of their service dog training program. This requires approved inmate dog handlers to teach  20-30 basic commands. CPL holds graduation ceremonies, where each dog is paired with a recipient. Dogs are placed based on an individual’s specific needs, such as full-service, medical alert or companionship. For several weeks, CPL will work with these teams (recipients and dogs) to teach them and let them become familiar with one another.

In CPL’s June 2022 graduation, Laurel Highlands trained four of the six dogs that graduated — Minzi, Bellevue, Fitz, and Grizz. They are now providing independence for four individuals in need.

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