Handler Joey Winters holds out a treat for trainee dog Kenzie while fellow handler Jason Gruver looks on during the PAWS of Central Texas Cell Dog Program Class Graduation. Daily Record photos by Denise Cathey
Sprung: Cell Dogs ‘graduate’ from time training behind bars
They sit. They stay. They shake and lay down on command.
But unlike most dogs lucky enough to become companion animals, there’s no children to play with or family to protect.
Shelter dog Buster sits at his handler Anthony Buford’s feet.
Instead of in a “furever” home, these dogs have been living behind bars.
The Cell Dog Program held a graduation ceremony this week at the Kyle Correctional Facility in which offenders got a chance to show off the dogs they had spent 10 weeks training in basic commands and socialization.
Handlers Raymond Kite and Joshua Lane demonstrate their dog Remy’s training in front of their visitors as the dog excitedly jumps for a treat in Kite’s hand during graduation ceremonies at the Kyle Correctional Facility. The 10-week program pairs two inmates with a shelter dog to provide obedience and behavioral training and socialization to help the dogs get adopted.
It’s a win-win situation, program sponsors PAWS of Central Texas says, offering a better chance at adoption for the dogs and a positive learning experience for inmates.