Inmate/Canine Educational Program


Picture of ORW women


The Inmate/Canine Educational Training Program began in September 1998, when Circle Tail and the Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio teamed up to help provide dogs for adoption and assistance dogs to individuals with disabilities.  Circle Tail now works with the Ohio Reformatory for Women, Dayton Correctional and Ross Correctional Institutes in Ohio.


Circle Tail trainers provide regular instruction to the inmates in caring for and training the puppies / dogs. The inmates are responsible for all of the puppies'/ dogs' physical and emotional needs. They oversee their social development, feeding, grooming, and exercise programs, and instruct them in good house manners and basic and advanced obedience. Some inmates also have the opportunity to train the dogs in advanced service skills. The inmates are with the puppies/ dogs at all times except during meals and the puppies/ dogs sleep in crates in the inmates' quarters.

The inmates participate in regularly scheduled educational programs and instructional sessions with Circle Tail trainers and correctional facility program coordinators.

How can I sponsor the Inmate Foster Puppy/Dog Program?

For the Inmate Foster Puppy/ Dog Program to succeed, Circle Tail needs financial support for these teams. The Correctional Institutions provide the manpower and the time to care for, socialize, and train the Circle Tail dogs.  Circle Tail is responsible for all of the financial costs associated with caring for these puppies/ dogs.

Full sponsorship costs $2,000.00. This donation will be used directly to provide veterinary services, a crate, feeding, grooming, and training items, and toys for the length of time the dog is in the prison program.

Multiple individuals also can sponsor an inmate foster puppy/ dog team, often as part of an organization, class project or corporate group.  In this case, the application form requests the names of all sponsoring persons so we can recognize and thank each person individually.

You will receive a photo of your puppy/ dog and progress reports.  If your puppy/ dog completes the advanced assistance dog training, you also will receive a picture of the dog and his/her new partner.

Circle Tail is supported entirely by public contributions and receives no government funding. Financial support of Circle Tail is tax deductible as allowed by law.

To sponsor an Inmate Foster Puppy/ Dog team, please print the attached form and send with your tax deductible contribution to the address printed at the bottom of the form.  We thank you for your generosity and consideration and our puppies/ dogs thank you as well!


Shadow, former prison trained dog, now drug detection dog!!
Once considered a "throw away dog" in a county shelter is now helping keep the world a little safer!
Thanks big guy!!

Notes from the Inmate Handlers and Their Dogs