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Inmates find purpose and healing in helping shelter dogs

Updated: May 25, 2021

When our friends at the Police and Paws Project first invited us to join them in an effort to collect donations for the Paws For Life Prison Program, I have to admit that I didn't know that a program like this even existed. Intrigued, I looked into it for myself and immediately knew this was a project I wanted the Poodini team to be involved with.

Paws For Life Prison Program Pairs Inmates With Shelter Dogs

The Paws For Life Prison Program is a program for inmates, who while working in collaboration with a Paws For Life K9 Rescue trainer, build dog runs outside their cell block, work in shifts to care for, train and socialize rescued dogs, thus creating a bridge to the outside world.

The program was created to help overlooked, long stay shelter dogs. Pairing these dogs with inmates provides both of them a chance to bond, heal, and rehabilitate through a meaningful relationship.

Currently, over 100 dogs have entered the program and trained with the incarcerated trainers at the Lancaster State Prison. These 100 dogs have an average length shelter stay of 9 months and 3 days. And they are now well trained shelter dogs who have gone on to live their best lives in their forever homes!

Paws For Life trainer with adopted dog
Pierre with adopted dog, Chase // Photo by Rita Earl

"The Paws For Life program here in Lancaster State Prison, has improved my life for the better. Volunteering and dedicating my time to help rehabilitate and train these majestic dogs, has a profound effect in my life. Throughout most of my life, I cared only about what I needed. Caring for these dogs has unselfishly taught me the meaning of kindness and giving back to society. In all fairness and honesty, I give credit more to these animals; they’re actually helping me heal my wounds, by restoring my humanity."

- Pierre, Paws For Life trainer at Lancaster State Prison


Poodini and the Police and Paws Project team up to help the Paws For Life Prison Program
Poodini and the Police & Paws Project team up

With your help, we were able to collect several boxes of toys and other needed supplies to aid in Paws For Life plight to help those in need. These items will be shipped to the rescue for distribution to their prison programs. We are honored to play even a small role in such a meaningful program and will continue to support the cause through future events including toy drives, fundraisers, and other efforts. Thank you all for your support!


Please scroll the images below to see the impact of the Paws For Life Prison Program:

Images courtesy of Rita Earl Photography

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