Tracy with her dog training class at the Hawkins Womens Unit

Women in Arkansas Prisons Learn Dog Training Skill

Some women in Arkansas prisons are learning a new trade that also benefits dogs in animal shelters across the state.

Paws in Prison (PIP) is a joint effort of the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), Central Arkansas Rescue Effort for Animals (CARE) and other animal shelters and advocate groups across the state.

Last year, hundreds of dogs were put to sleep in animal shelters and PIP wants to change that.

By placing some of these dogs in PIP’s program, they are better prepared for adoption, and inmates learn new skills that give them the chance to do something positive for the state while serving time behind bars. This program also gives the inmates a skill upon their release.

Inmates, who have received instruction from professional dog trainers, work with the animals and teach them basic obedience and socialization skills to make them more adoptable.

In the photo at left, Carrie Kessler, PIP trainer, with her dog, Toby, discusses training tips with the inmates of the Hawkins Center for Women at Wrightsville.

Inmates from Randall Williams Correctional Facility in Pine Bluff, the Maximum Security Unit at Tucker and Ouachita River Correctional Unit at Malvern are also gives the inmates a skill upon their release.

PIP receives no state dollars and is supported solely by contributions.

Click here for more information and to find out how to donate.

Click here to see the dogs that will be up for adoption when they graduate the program.

Recently the women had a surprise visitor to their unit. Tia Torres with Pit Bulls and Parolees had a book signing of her new book “My Life Among  The Underdogs” where she gave each inmate a signed copy of her book. Along with Tracy they spoke to the girls about how they can change their lives for the better. They all listened and were inspired.


Arkansas Paws In Prison Logo
Tracy & Tia Handing Out New Book
Tia Torres & Tracy
Tracy, SGT Brown & Tia Torres
Women Inmates
Tracy and Tia with Women Inmates
Inmate and Tia