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Pups On Parole Program Celebrates 500th Adoption

The California Correctional Center and Lassen Humane Society celebrated a milestone last week as Pups on Parole graduated its 500th dog since the program’s inception in 2007.

The adoption of the dog, named Lucy, from Pups on Parole and Lassen County Animal Shelter, marks the continuation of an initiative which has benefitted the community, inmates and dogs.

Inmates in the program share that the program gives them a sense of purpose, pride, and duty by giving them the opportunity to participate in the daily responsibilities of caring for, socializing, and training the dogs.

Pups on Parole began at the Correctional Center in 2007 as a collaboration between Humane Society President Mary Morphis and CCC Warden Kathy Prosper.

Warden Prosper was enthusiastic to be involved in the POP program at the institution, ensuring a stable foundation for a successful operation from the very start.

Morphis was very passionate about saving dogs housed in overcrowded shelters, she had witnessed many beautiful dogs euthanized and determined she would save the lives of as many dogs as she could.

After touring the POP program at San Quentin State Prison, Morphis and Warden Prosper developed a similar program for CCC.

The POP program is comprised of many entities including the Humane Society, Lassen County Animal Shelter and CCC staff and inmates. The animal shelter receives dogs and determines their suitability for the program based on their temperament, character and potential to be euthanized; this is a crucial part of the process, ensuring the success of the program.

The Humane Society oversees the POP program and Coordinator Vicky Reinsel is tasked with ensuring that POP is functioning well and any concerns that arise are addressed.

Reinsel takes great pride in the success rate of POP dogs adopted into good homes and spends her free time conducting fund raisers for food and other supplies for the dogs. POP Liaison Rikki Meier supervises inmates while they train the dogs in preparation for adoption. Rikki was so inspired by the program that she commissioned a dog training agility course at CCC.

Fifteen Inmates and seven dogs are currently housed at the CCC Firehouse with one handler each and a backup handler for unexpected absences. The inmates have completed Physical Fitness Training, Fire Fighter Training and retain fire-fighting duties by providing mutual aid to Lassen County Fire and Medical Emergency Services.

For many inmates this program teaches how to be responsible for another’s needs and provides a sense of accomplishment when the dogs are successfully rehabilitated, well-trained and adoptable.

Lucy, (pictured below) is the 500th lucky dog to be adopted from POP. Upon her introduction into the program Lucy met her handler, Inmate Hall. Inmate Hall was a first time trainer, and he and Lucy soon built a strong, inseparable bond. Lucy’s personality and the bond between the two were so remarkable; inmate Hall’s parents decided to adopted Lucy to be sure she would be reunited with him upon his release.

During the celebration, CCC Warden S. Peery, CDW S. Cagle, and POP liaison R. Meier presented LHS with a check for $180.89 raised by CCC inmates to support the program
Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor


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