(THOMASTON, ME): Two Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County (PMHSKC) dogs are the first graduates of the newly revamped K9 Training Program at the Maine State Prison. Celebrations honoring the newly trained Shelter dogs, ‘Chip’ and ‘Bandit’, plus their trainers and adoptive families, were held at the Maine State Prison on Tuesday, September 17th.
The K9 Training program originated as a partnership between the Prison’s Bolduc Correctional facility and Humane Society in 2006 to give a minimum security inmate the opportunity to train one shelter dog at a time. The recently revised and expanded program involves the Maine State Prison facility and can simultaneously accommodate multiple dogs and multiple inmate trainers.
Maine State Prison Warden Rodney Bouffard said: “We are very excited about the expansion of this wonderful program in partnership with PMHSKC. Our inmates now have an opportunity to acquire new skills while building trusting and caring relationships with animals.”
PMHSKC Executive Director Tracy Sala added: “This is a heartwarming story where everyone came out a winner, the trainers, the adoptive families, PMHSKC and the Maine State Prison, and the dogs. Best of all, Chip not only has a new family, because of his success in this program, he will soon begin advanced training as a service dog.”
The PMHSKC was founded in 1989 to provide care, protection, and loving homes for abandoned and homeless companion animals in the Midcoast Maine area. The Society operates an animal shelter located between the Dexter Street Extension and Buttermilk Lane in Thomaston that is open between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays). The Humane Society of Knox County provides animal support services to the towns of Rockland, Thomaston, Warren, Owls Head, St. George, Port Clyde, Martinsville, Tenants Harbor, S. Thomaston (including Spruce Head), Hope, Union, Appleton, Montville, Cushing, Matinicus, North Haven, Vinalhaven, Stockton Springs, and Morrill.
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