Puppies for Parole Program

Puppies for Parole Program a Huge Success

Puppies for Parole is a unique program of the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) that matches shelter dogs with carefully selected offender handlers. The program benefits both the dogs and their handlers as they work together through the training program, which generally lasts about eight weeks.

Dogs coming into the prison from the shelters to go through training to help boost their chances to be adopted. More than 1,300 dogs across the state have been adopted since the program began in February 2010. What started with a few dogs at one prison in Jefferson City has spread to help hundreds of dogs being trained at 19 of the state's 20 prisons.

"When the idea of Puppies for Parole originated, the overall goal was to help prevent the euthanasia of healthy animals," said George A. Lombardi, DOC director. "In addition, I thought dogs would help make prisons safer, grow compassion within the prison population, give offenders the opportunity to give back to the community in an effort to repair some of the harm they have caused and help offenders learn job skills to use upon their release. Puppies for Parole has accomplished all that I had hoped - and more."

Some dogs have been trained to work with people who have disabilities and children with special needs. Several veterans' hospitals and mental health facilities have adopted Puppies for Parole dogs as "house dogs." The dogs bring joy, compassion, love and acceptance to the residents of these facilities.

A list of participating these shelters and the dogs available for adoption is on The Puppies for Parole website: http://doc.mo.gov/DAI/P4P.php. posts a list of participating shelters and the dogs available for adoption.  The program also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MissouriPuppiesforParole.

Adoption Story - Brystal and Magic

When a couple decided to adopt a playmate for their dog Brystal, they found Magic. Magic was in the P4P program at Western Reception & Diagnostic Correctional Center. She looked like Brystal's twin. They said, "We got Magic home and she met her new sister Brystal. They hit it off the second they met. Constant playing and rough housing has made our house happy again. They both have taught each other things and can do the same tricks. We are blessed to have found the Prison Pup Program and would recommend this to all our friends looking for a pet."

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