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Ruff Start

Ruff Start provides a second chance for shelter dogs that may need extra training, socialization or care before being placed for adoption. This new training and foster program pairs shelter dogs with inmates at Salinas Valley State Prison. During their stay, the dogs receive behavior training and loving, compassionate care.

In the 8-week foster program, shelter dogs live at the prison with selected inmates who are model prisoners. The dogs undergo training while receiving love, attention and socialization. Dogs in the program may have behavioral issues, be undergoing long-term medical treatment, or be in protective custody as they are part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation. Skilled SPCA staff and volunteers visit the prison three days a week to provide guidance while the inmates continue training the dogs throughout their daily routine.

After completing the program, many dogs receive their Canine Good Citizen Certification, while others have healed after compassionate care and socialization. They are then ready for their new, loving, adoptive homes.