Log in

veterans

Soldier's Best Friend to launch new prison training program with rescue dogs

Posted 6/12/24

Soldier’s Best Friend has announced the start of a new program that will benefit the veterans entering its program and inmates at Fort Grant Men’s Prison in Willcox, Arizona.

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.


Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here

Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $6.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor
veterans

Soldier's Best Friend to launch new prison training program with rescue dogs

Posted

Soldier’s Best Friend has announced the start of a new program that will benefit the veterans entering its program and inmates at Fort Grant Men’s Prison in Willcox, Arizona.

Through an agreement with the state of Arizona Department of Corrections and a partnership with the Fort Grant Prison, Soldier’s Best Friend has launched a dog training program with eight vetted inmates.

The eight inmates will be housed in special housing unit at Fort Grant where the dogs will live with them for 12 weeks. During the 12 weeks, the inmates will train the dogs in basic obedience and commands so they can pass the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen test.

During the 12 weeks, a Soldier’s Best Friend trainer will visit weekly to evaluate progress and to help with training. Once the dogs pass the Canine Good Citizen test, they will then be placed with a veteran accepted into Soldier’s Best Friend’s program where they will continue their training to become a service dog for the veteran.

Soldier’s Best Friend is an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides U.S. military veterans living with combat-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury with Service or Therapeutic Companion Dogs, most of which are rescued from Arizona shelters. The veteran and dog train together to build a trusting relationship that saves two lives at once and inspires countless others.

Services are free to the veterans, but cost the organization approximately $7,500 per veteran/dog team for the nearly year-long training program.

This new initiative will be beneficial to both the inmates and the veterans in Soldier’s Best Friend’s program. For the inmate it gives them purpose and responsibility, as well as a skill they can use for employment once released. We believe it will help transform their lives. For the veterans it provides a dog who has been fully trained in basic obedience and can now begin training for specific task work for the veteran to help mitigate their symptoms of PTSD or TBI. Soldier’s best Friend will now be touching three lives at once: the inmate, the veteran, and the dog.

The first dogs have been placed with the inmates. They came from the Nancy J Brua Animal Care Center in Sierra Vista.

“The Nancy J Brua Animal Care Center is delighted to celebrate its enduring partnership with Soldier’s Best Friend, which has flourished over several years," said Arleen Garcia, animal control supervisor. " We take pride in nurturing this collaboration and witnessing our shelter dogs excel in supporting Department of Correction inmates and Soldier’s Best Friend in their time of need.”

Since its inception in 2011, Soldier’s Best Friend has graduated 396 veteran/dog teams.