The Omaha Correctional Center Canine Nurturing Program was initiated on July 16, 2007. This program is a cooperative effort between OCC and the Nebraska Humane Society.
It has been conclusive in developing personal attributes that may be desirable to function and communicate within society. The basis of the Canine program is to implant and promote measurable vocational skills. These skills include enhanced decision making processes, taking personal responsibility through positive agendas, and increasing self-esteem by developing empathetic traits.
Smaller dogs will be provided by the Nebraska Humane Society to be socialized by the Canine handlers, leading to adoption within the community. The Humane Society selects these dogs for placement due to their special needs requirements.
As a dog handler within this program, selected inmates will provide and be responsible for the dog’s training and feeding; sheltering and grooming; sanitation and control. Initial and primary training of a dog handler will be provided by the Nebraska Humane Society, as well as all Veterinary needs.
The Canine Nurturing program has proved to be a success for all involved.
The Nebraska State Penitentiary in a joint endeavor with outside volunteers created the Second Chance-PUPS program. At the beginning of a nine week rotation inmates are paired with sheltered dogs selected from area humane societies. During this time inmate volunteers are selected to train dogs in basic obedience while providing human socialization and interaction with other dogs. By the end of the rotation each dog will have passed the Canine Good Citizen test and are ready to be adopted into the community. The program uses human-animal association and different disciplines involved in these associations to give inmates positive measurable gains in vocational skills, anger management, decision-making and responsibility. More information about the Second Chance-PUPS program and adoptions can be obtained by visiting www.secondchancepups.com. Some of the Second Chance-PUPS may be selected to go on to service dog training offered in partnership with Domesti-PUPS.
Domesti-PUPS mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with special needs through the assistance of animals and to promote awareness through education. Domesti-PUPS provides service dogs for persons with disabilities, pet therapy programs, classroom dogs and education programs. Domesti-PUPS is a 501(c)3 volunteer based organization headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska with divisions in Omaha, Nebraska, Montgomery, Alabama and Littleton, Colorado. More information about the Domesti-PUPS can be obtained by visiting www.Domesti-Pups.org.
At any given time there will be 8-12 dogs on campus involved in one of these programs. Having the dogs in the facility tends to take the edge off the prison environment and creates a sense of normalcy to the population. It also affords the inmates an opportunity to give back to the community as an unpaid volunteer, while developing personal skills towards their own rehabilitation.