Corrections NZ and the Puppies in Prison Programme
A post from Corrections NZ Facebook page May 2021:
Please give a warm, tail-wagging welcome to our Mobility Dogs pups, Fletcher, Cedric and Harper!
The pups recently arrived for their advanced Mobility Dog training at the self-care unit at Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility.
“At present, the women are training five dogs, preparing them to support people living with a disability,” says Mobility Dogs senior trainer Natalie. “The skills include retrieving and carrying items, loading and unloading the washing machine, pressing buttons for elevators and pedestrian crossings, helping with payments in shops, and turning lights on and off.”
In 2020, Corrections’ Puppies in Prison programme in partnership with Mobility Dogs celebrated its twelfth anniversary. More than 250 service dogs have been trained by roughly 150 prisoners participating in the programme that is run at both Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility and Spring Hill Corrections Facility. The handlers training the dogs can also enrol for a qualification in companion animal care.
“We feel really lucky to be involved in this programme,” says one of the women. “Training the dogs gives us a real sense of purpose, and just having them around means so much for our own wellbeing.”