On Thursday, May 27, Can Do Canines brought seven puppies and their mom, Yoga, to their temporary weaning home at the Federal Prison Camp, located in Hermantown, Minn. This will resume this facility’s puppy prison program that has been paused since last spring due to the pandemic.
Being weaned in a prison setting may be one stop on the journey for many of our dogs in training. Selected male inmates in the Duluth facility serve to wean 5-10-week old puppies from their mother, providing them with love, support and basic behavioral skills. After this weaning process, the puppies will return to the Twin Cities, where they will be placed in a volunteer’s home, and may possibly take part in one of our prison programs during their training period of over two years.
Can Do Canines currently partners with seven different prisons in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition to Duluth, locations include Sandstone, Waseca and Rochester, Minn., and Chippewa Falls, Stanley and Black River Falls Wis. We have maintained a partnership with the Duluth prison since 2013. A Can Do Canines staff member holds regular training sessions at the prisons to coach the inmates on their important role. Numerous inmates have shared that this experience has changed their lives, helping them become more responsible and compassionate and giving them a clearer sense of purpose. As Prison Program Coordinator Kaity McGinn states, “This program is really a win-win situation. The inmates are able to contribute to society in this positive way while Can Do Canines dogs gain valuable and consistent training 24/7.”
Some of the TV stations in Duluth are covering this story of puppies returning to the Federal Prison Camp. Here’s one example of the coverage.