AP NEWS

Federal prison in Kansas helps train dogs for adoption

March 29, 2019

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A federal prison may seem like an odd place for the Leavenworth County Humane Society to house dogs.

But the Humane Society partners with the minimum security camp on the grounds of the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth.

Dogs live with inmates, who train the animals to prepare them for adoption, the Leavenworth Times reported.

“They build a real close relationship with these guys,” said Crystal Swann Blackdeer, executive director of the Leavenworth County Humane Society.

Blackdeer said the program began in October. She said the USP’s warden had experience with similar programs at other prison facilities and was interested in starting one in Leavenworth.

Blackdeer said a dog trainer visits the USP camp on Mondays and spends time working with the inmates.

“And they have homework,” Blackdeer said.

There is a prison staff member involved in the program who is a Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Canine Good Citizen is a program of the American Kennel Club.

In addition to helping prepare dogs for adoption, the program at the USP camp also benefits the inmates, Blackdeer said.

She said the program gives inmates a skill set.

The inmates can earn hours to later help them obtain certification as a Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

The USP camp also has a separate dog training program that helps prepare dogs to be service animals.

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Information from: Leavenworth (Kan.) Times, http://www.leavenworthtimes.com