SPCA Wednesday! Meet Grady & Hazel

October 5, 2016

Meet graduates #3 & #4 from the PUPS AT THE PEN program by the SPCA Serving Erie County and the Erie County Sheriff's Office (ECSO), taking place at the Erie County Correctional Facility (ECCF)!

Grady is a 3-year-old Beagle, 52 pounds, who came to us from a Buffalo home with too many animals. Hazel is a 6-month-old Retriever, a 30-pound puppy transferred to us from South Carolina. Both dogs received rave reviews in the training journals kept by ECCF inmates; members of the SPCA's Behavior and Training Department will work with adopters to show them the training the dogs have received, which will allow adopters to continue lessons being learned!

So just what is Pups at the Pen? Well, it’s not a new concept, but for SPCA dogs, it's a new beginning. When ECSO Jail Management Division Superintendent Thomas Diina contacted the SPCA Serving Erie County in February of 2016, programs that involve shelter dogs trained in prisons and correctional facilities were already underway, some for several years, in various parts of the country.  The programs were reported as beneficial not only to the dogs, who received a level of attention and training nearly impossible to achieve in a shelter environment, but also to the mental health of inmates.

To SPCA Director of Behavior and Training Barbara Frazier, the ECSO's proposal, that female ECCF inmates, trained by SPCA representatives, work with SPCA dogs over an extended period of time, definitely warranted discussion. A few short month later, in July 2016, Pups at the Pen premiered!

The first two Pups at the Pen dogs, Nicky and Maxie the shelties, were adopted just one day after they returned to the SPCA, full of knowledge and new tricks too! We're hoping the same thing happens with Grady and Hazel!

Meet Grady and Hazel at the SPCA's Tonawanda shelter! Call SPCA Behavior & Training, 716-629-3537, for more information!