Karma Rescue, an award winning organization that over the past decade rescued more than 2,000 dogs from high-kill shelters, recently launched a crowdrise campaign to help raise funds for a new and innovative program that pairs prison inmates with rescued animals.
Paws For Life is a joint effort between Karma Rescue and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Rescued shelter dogs live at the prison where inmates, with the help of a Karma Rescue instructor, work with the dogs during a three-month long program. The dogs receive a Good Canine Citizen designation upon meeting the program’s goals and benchmarks and this certification increases the chances for a successful adoption.
Paws For Life also allows inmates to learn “real world” job skills and play a part in a humanitarian process, giving back to society. They keep journals and log their daily activities and interactions with the dogs. One inmate recently recorded the following: “What a great dog. It is so nice to have him to take care of. I am the luckiest guy I know. I am serving a life sentence and have the opportunity to give something so special back to a lucky family.”
The program’s success hinges on the similarities between the inmates and shelter animals: many of the dogs were in a “prison” of their own, isolated from the outside world and often rejected by society. Both rescue dogs and inmates are given a second chance through Paws For Life.
The first program culminated with a “graduating” class of five dogs and 10 inmates in August. Another program is underway at the men’s prison in Lancaster with plans to expand to other prison facilities throughout the state.
Karma Rescue will spend about $45,000.00 on a typical 12-week course and the organization is trying to raise funds for the program through crowdrise and other sources.
“I am thrilled beyond belief with the success of Paws For Life,” says Rande Levine, Karma Rescue’s Founder and President of the Board. “It’s my hope that others will recognize the value of Paws For Life and will generously donate to our campaign.”
For more information about the crowdrise campaign for Paws For Life please visit www.crowdrise.com/PawsforLives. For more information about Karma Rescue and the Paws For Life program, please visit our website www.KarmaRescue.org.