SHARPES, Florida -- On May 25, 2012, the Sheriff’s Office hosted the 22nd graduation ceremony of the Paws & Stripes program at the Jail Complex. Sheriff Jack Parker implemented the program in the Jail Complex in September 2006 as a way to save dogs from being euthanized and give inmates better skills which could make them more employable and reduce recidivism. The program has been very successful resulting in 186 dogs being adopted into loving homes.
Today’s graduation was even more special as Sandi Scannelli, President/CEO of the Community Foundation of Brevard, presented the Paws & Stripes Program with a grant for $3,390. The money was donated on behalf of the Marie Louise G. West Endowment Fund. The costs associated with care and feeding of the dogs is completely funded through private donations.
Sheriff Parker stated, “Our partnerships with Brevard County, the SPCA, and the Central Brevard Humane Society coupled with the generosity from citizens and organizations like the Community Foundation of Brevard make the Paws & Stripes program possible.”
The program trains inmates to work with dogs thought to be previously “unadoptable” and enrolls them into an eight-week obedience and behavior course. After being successfully trained by jail inmates, the dogs are then adopted into loving families.
Mandi Gray, one of the jail inmates selected to train the dogs stated, “The Paws & Stripes program gave me a sense of responsibility and it taught me about caring for something other than myself, it’s a second chance for both the dogs and inmates.”
Inmates are taught how to handle the dogs and care for them. Educational classes are taught to the inmates by staff and upon completion of the program inmates are awarded certificates from the American Boarding Kennels Association in Pet Care Technician level one, The American Red Cross Pet First Aid course and the Brevard County Jail Complex completion certificate.
Of the 13 dogs who graduated today, most are still available for adoption. If you are interested in adopting one of these dogs or if you would like any additional information about the program, please contact Major Gregory Robertson at the Brevard County Jail Complex at (321) 690-1505.
You can see photos of all of the graduating dogs by going to www.BrevardSheriff.com and clicking on the Paws & Stripes link.