Cuffs and Collars is a partnership program between Gilchrist County Animal Services and the Florida Department of Corrections Lancaster Correctional Institution. The program’s main goal is to increase the adoption and retention rates of selected dogs at the Gilchrist County Animal Shelter. In addition, the program provides experience and education in dog care for inmates.
The dogs are selected by shelter personnel and volunteer trainers, who test the dogs around other dogs, cats, and people. Selected dogs are matched with inmates at Lancaster Correctional. Under the supervision of volunteer professional trainers, the dogs and their handlers spend eight weeks learning basic obedience.
Inmates learn about daily dog care (including feeding, grooming, and routine health care) as well as positive training techniques. They learn to train the dogs to the standards of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizens (CGC) program. Equally important, the dogs are socialized around a variety of people and other dogs during this period.
Each 8-10 weeks a new group of dogs is selected from the local shelter. You can see their photos and get information by following the Cuffs & Collars Correctional Dog Training Program Facebook page. An adoption application can be requested anytime during the 8-10 weeks, by sending a message on the Facebook page. Applicants and their families will have an opportunity to meet the special pup that caught their eye before graduation. And if all is favorable, your new family member gets to go to his new home on graduation day!
Adoption fee is $50 and includes spay/neuter, microchip and all vaccinations!
Inmate Dog Handlers at Lancaster Correctional Institution demonstrate a training trick during the 5th Cuffs and Collars Prison Based Dog Graduation on March 21, 2019. The pups name is Crown. Crown completed her 8 week dog obedience training program, learning all the skills needed and then some for her new forever family. Crown was placed with a beautiful family.