Paws in Stripes

The Animal Welfare Society is proud to partner with the Maine Correctional Center (MCC) on an exciting and heartwarming program: Paws in Stripes.

This program pairs prisoners at MCC with puppies transferred to AWS through our Paws Across America program. Once the puppies arrive in Maine, they are monitored for health before “doing their time” at MCC.

The puppies are then delivered to MCC and into the anxious hands of their handlers in both the men’s and women’s sections of the prison. MCC officials select handlers based on exceptional behavior and willingness to learn.

The puppies spend six weeks with their handlers learning how to be a great dog. Weekly obedience classes are taught on site by AWS staff. By observing and participating in these classes, the handlers learn training methods that they reinforce daily with their charges. The dogs are housed directly with their handler, making housebreaking a priority. The pups even get to play together in the yard, where they run in the grass and say hello to everyone. Being exposed to this new environment with its many new faces helps the puppies learn crucial adjustment and social skills.

These puppies are deeply loved and cared for by their handlers and staff. It’s a win-win for the dogs and for the people involved.