The WOOF program (Women Offering Obedience & Friendship) has been a partnership between Patriot Service Dogs and Florida Department of Corrections for over five years. We have successfully trained over twenty service dogs with the dedication of the inmates that work in this program. Many deserving veterans now have more complete lives because of the dogs they receive from Patriot Service Dogs. All of this would not be possible without the support of Country Goldens.
The loving and balanced dogs we receive from them allow us to do the work we do. We often say it is a win/ win. The dogs get love, the inmates get to serve their time while helping others, and the veterans gain a sense of independence.
We have followed Traci from Florida to Tennessee, knowing it is the basics she gives these pups before they are given to us that makes the difference.
These puppies begin their lives in the hills of Tennessee, spend two years behind bars, and move on to all the many places our wounded veterans live. Who would think that behind the harsh fences of prison these miracles would occur- for the dogs, the veterans and the inmates.
Thank you Country Goldens!
“Sarge”(Golden) with inmate learning advanced commands
Billy and Hawkeye
Riley (Golden) learning to push the handicapped button using the water fountain
I was so blessed to be able to personally deliver a puppy into the hands of the inmates at Lowell. These women do an amazing job with the puppies and dogs that are entrusted to them. It was a privilege for me to be able to visit with and get to know the women of WOOF. Hearing their stories and seeing how these dogs and the WOOF program have changed their lives will stay with me always…
Traci with “Country Golden” Patriot Service Dogs
Susan and Julie with Bonnie (March 2012)
Julie heads up the WOOF Program at the Lowell Women’s Prison. Bonnie will be trained by a carefully selected inmate for Service.
We just placed Bonnie and Indy with PSD- they were both out of our 11-11-11 litter. Patriot Service Dogs has teamed up with Lowell Women’s Prison & Marion County Humane Society to help make shelter dogs more adoptable. “WOOF” is an 8 week program where the inmates are given the opportunity to give back by helping shelter dogs learn basic obedience & house manners, making them easier to adopt into forever homes.
Out of the group of inmates participating with the WOOF program, a couple of them excelled in their abilities to train the dogs in obedience and were choosen by Julie and Susan to be able to start training on an actual Service Dog/Puppy. We wanted to help so we sent Bonnie. Bonnie will be trained by a carefully selected inmate that has earned special working and living privledges and has had previous training experience through the WOOF Program. This is a wonderful situation as Bonnie will receive lots of one on one training and attention. She will also be able to participate in all of the special events and outings that PSD does with the other puppies. Julie will take Bonnie on the weekends, and socialize her to restaurants, movies, car rides, other dogs, kids etc… Julie will also be able to monitor Bonnie’s progress very closely this way.
We are very excited about this new program that PSD is starting. We feel like Bonnie will have the opportunity to change many lives and make a difference. The inmate training Bonnie has an opportunity to give something back, have some vision and some purpose and most importantly… feel love again.
The Service Pup will also be used as a Therapy Dog within the Prison for other inmates, and then ultimately she will be placed with her Veteran… How cool is that?
We are so blessed to have this opportunity for one of our puppies to be able to be involved in this “Prison Ministry”…
“When I was in Prison- You visited me…”
We are not able to go into this prison and visit with these troubled women…
but Bonnie, who is an extension of us, can. She will touch and change lives that we never could.
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’