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Prison Pup Saved After Training Mishap, Finds Forever Home

August 27, 2019 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

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Echo the dog with his new owner, EliciaEcho was the third Canines Achieving Miracles in Prison dog at SCI Cambridge Springs when his tenure in the program came to an abrupt end.

Although generally a sweet dog, Echo bit his inmate handler in the face and was immediately kicked out of CAMP and returned to the ANNA Shelter, which partners with the prison. Echo was set to be put down due to his aggression, but Records Specialist Alicia Groover reviewed the footage of the incident and saw the bite was not Echo's fault.

His inmate handler approached him in a way that put him into "play mode," but then put her face near his face. The dog nipped the handler in the face—wagging his tail and thinking they were playing the whole time. The incident resulted in his expulsion, but upon review it was determined it was all a misunderstanding. The inmate handler wasn't upset about the incident and insisted it was her own fault.

Echo was saved from being put down and completed the program at the shelter. Staff tried to get him to bite again to test him, but he never did as he passed the rest of his training easily.

In August, Echo found his forever home when he was adopted by Elicia Coal, a retired Navy veteran who spent 30 years in the medical field. She now leads Safety Tails LLC, a program that focuses on canine CPR and first aid for pet owners. Echo will travel with Elicia as she teaches others these life-saving skills.

Echo became the third CAMP graduate and first to a veteran—which is a goal of the program.

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