Shelters Spotlight: How Incarcerated Men and Shelter Dogs Rehabilitate Each Other

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Shelters Spotlight: How Incarcerated Men and Shelter Dogs Rehabilitate Each Other Shelters Spotlight: How Incarcerated Men and Shelter Dogs Rehabilitate Each Other
Culture

Shelters Spotlight: How Incarcerated Men and Shelter Dogs Rehabilitate Each Other

by Alessandra Rizzotti, GOOD Partner

March 22, 2013

This 9-part series is brought to you by GOOD, in partnership with Purina ONE®. We've teamed up to highlight inspiring organizations that are doing innovative and unexpected things to connect with their local communities and promote positive perceptions of shelter pets. Read more about how pets—and the people who love them—can brighten lives and strengthen our communities at the GOOD Pets hub.

Aside from improving the lives of incarcerated adults, RPSM has also changed the lives of families in the surrounding community. Eveginna and Tom had a dog that was losing its eyesight and when they adopted Indy through RPSM, he became an important companion and guide for their blind dog. The departure letter they received from the incarcerated man that trained Indy even included commands and tips so that the couple could continue to encourage the best behavior in their new dog.

Now, due to the success of RPSM, Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, Michigan is in the middle of implementing the program. The power of education, for both dogs and incarcerated males, combined with a complete approach to sheltering animals, is what makes Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan so effective. "Animals housed in shelters don't fair too well if kept there too long, so these animals thrive in this type of one-on-one training environment. If the dog can put the human on a right path, everyone and everything benefits," says Skladd.

Photos via Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan


Alessandra Rizzotti More Info

Alessandra Rizzotti has written for GOOD, Little Darling, Idealist, Takepart, Heeb, Smith, Hello Giggles, Reimagine, and has been featured on The White House blog for her work on the editorial series “Women Working to Do Good.” The editorial series she created for GOOD, “Push for Good,” helped raise over one million dollars for crowdfunding projects in social impact, and she helped launch impact campaigns with GOOD for Purina, GAP, Focus Features, Google, Apollo, and National MS Society. She’s also been published in three Harper Perrennial books with her six word memoirs, as well as four monologue books for Hal Leonard/Applause in collaboration with Grammy winner and GOOD member Alisha Gaddis. Her video art has been featured in Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s “Learning to Love You More” Gallery at the Baltic Contemporary Art Museum. In her freetime, she volunteers with CASA, beekeeps with nonprofit organization Honeylove, and edits children’s chapbooks for 826 LA. At Backstage Magazine, Alessandra currently strategizes and writes Twitter chats (in which she’s garnered seven million impressions) and edits casting notices, where she bridges the gap between filmmakers and actors.
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