Inmates to help in the adoption of pound dogs

| 11/09/2014

(CNS): A programme to rehabilitate prisoners through bonding with unwanted dogs was launched this week, which will not only help inmates but will also save animals that would otherwise likely be euthanized. Partnering with the Department of Agriculture, Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service has been working for over nine months on the community programme BARK (Bonding and Rehabilitation through K-9s), through which the dogs will begiven a home at the prison, where inmates will train them and prepare them for adoption, the prison said in an intergovernmental email. This type of programme has become extremely popular across the US and has proven to play an integral part in the rehabilitation of offenders. (Left: A US inmate and his canine cell mate in the New Leach on Life programme)

The inmates involved in the program will take care of the dogs’ daily feeding and walking routines. These prisoners will learn empathy, personal awareness, responsibility, career development skills and positive community involvement through the care training and rehabilitation of the rescued dogs, a brochure on the programme states.will be receiving training from local dog trainer, Kenneth Morgan, and guidance and caring tips from Juliette Heath-Mendez, along with other experienced volunteers. , but

“BARK provides an opportunity for the programme participants to give back to the community by aiding in the placement of rehabilitated shelter dogs into permanent loving homes. Upon arrival at the facility each dog is allocated to an inmate who will socialise and train each animal. The inmates are fully responsible for the dog’s feeding grooming exercising housebreaking obedience training and, of course, affection.”

Each dog will be taught basic manners and obedience skills to help them move into their new home. During their training dogs will be socialised three times daily to establish a routine, and after a few months of dedicated and consistent care the dogs, it is hoped, will be ready for adoption.

According to the prison, this program is only possible through several community partners and volunteers and will be completely dependent on the community’s support and generosity through donations of money, basic necessities such as treats, leashes and toys, as well as volunteers’ time.

“We truly believe this to be a worthy project that will have an overall positive effect the inmates, the dogs and the community,” the prison said.

If you would like to make a donation contact Juliet at 929 7772.  Cheques can be made out to “Cayman Islands Government” with reference to HMCIPS BARK programme.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So now the prisoners are provided personal weapons? How does this make any sense at all?  The prisoner could potentially train the dog(s) and use them against other prisoners or the guards.  This doesn't seem very well thought out. 

    Give the prisoners cats, birds or mice or any other animal to train.  Not a dog that can be used as a weapon inside and outsde the prison.  A bit silly this initiative. 


    • Anonymous says:

      These programs are running very sucessfully across the US.  

      • Anonymous says:

        The US is a very large country.  It is impossible to compare such an initiative with a small country.  The US an inmate tends to live in a poor area where the culture of the people would not adopt a dog.  The individuals who would adopt dogs would range from the middle to upper class.  The interaction with the dog in the future would never happen.  Also due to the size of the country, the dogs could be adopted in a completely different state or county.

          The Cayman Islands, all three of them together is a total of 100sq ft.

        In theory this may work well, practically speaking no.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What if they poo in the cells will they get shanked?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The dogs are looked after by enhanced prisoners awaiting release, supervised by staff, dog fighting????? 


    so much nagativity 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I suppose all that was missing at HMP was a free puppy

  5. Anonymous says:

    While I agree that the animals should not be abandoned and this programme could be useful, I am a former law enforcement officer and I recall a particular drug dealer training dogs to attack police.  The dogs were given reverse training in that when you say sit, it was attack command, for example.  So while I love animals and want them cared for, I think we need to be careful what our convicts are teaching the animals!


  6. Anonymous says:

    10:01 ,19:36 to solve that issue get  yourselves a fence to kill that arguement..

    • Anonymous says:

      3ft make 1 yard. Why should in have to put up a fence to keep your dog out? If he messes up my that will be the last time. I love animals and have 3 of my own but if u are not responsible to keep your dog tied up then he will beput to sleep!

      • Anonymous says:

        3ft I do have a dog and a cat .I have no fence and is surrounded by neigbours dogs all the time.I do keep my dog tied up when we are at work and untied when we get home to give him a break for being tied most of the day.I have to clean his mess and have to choice but to clean up the other dogs mess that live around the neighbourhood and I dont go around treating my neighbours about there dog mess…We will never be able to control all of these dogs, so all i was saying to you was TO SIMPLY GET A FENCE IF YOU CANT HANDLE THE DOG MESS.Your argument is so childish..Plus this post is not about dod poop, it is getting everyones opinons about wether it is a good idea to have prisinors train abandoned dogs..And yes Iam responsiblelike I said I do clean my dogs poop as well as others, and don't intend to put other dogs to sleep if they mess up in my yard, check yourself

  7. Cheese Face says:

    I think its a great programme.

    I also think that this needs to be stopped.

    But it won't be.

    CNS: I agree. Just to note that CNS has turned down several paid-for ads for puppies and will continue to do so. Classified ads for puppies are also deleted if I see them. There are just too many unwanted dogs on the island for people to be breeding them, with or without a licence. Please people, neuter or spay your pets.


  8. Anonymous says:

    I am supportive of this as I am sure this will bring lots of hours of positive emotional care to our prisoners.   The dogs certainly will be much happier being cared for than left abandoned in the shelter.

    My only advice is that the Prison Service maintain an adequate watch to ensure that the animals are not mistreated in any way and that they are not used for dog fights (like Michael Vick).

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean like their own dogs were?  Prison staff are the last ones looking after a dogs welfare and care.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just to make a correction, Juliette Heath-Mendez's correct email address is Thanks for the support!

    CNS: I've corrected it in the article – thanks!

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is a positive step and will be beneficial to both the prisoner and to the new pet owners. A well trained dog is always a benefit to the community. Just wish that when this suggestion was made a couple of years ago they implemented it from then. Govt needs to take advice/suggestions more often.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So when they come to rob my house the dog will recognize his original 'master'   No thanks! 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is for 20:47.That's why this Island will never get better because of negative people like you…They are prisoners but they are human,even though some might not act like itdo deserve something positive to do..I think having and training the dogs are excellent for both the prisoners as well as the dogs…At least both of them will have one another for comfort and to love as we know they all are lacking of that…So if you dont have anything good to say don't waste your time posting because we all are looking for the best  results…"I THINK ITS GREAT"


      • Anonymous says:

        I am looking out for my family.  We foster the dogs occassionally. Can you imagine the potential effects on my children?  Repeat offender is let out of prison, scopes my property, the dog does not bark 'to protect the home'.  Why no barking?  Dogs have a keen sense of smell. 

        If this is implemened you can forget about my family adopting or fostering a dog.  My family comes first.  I have spoken to others who feel the same.  It almost feels that we are giving the burglar the key to the home. 

        A poster above mentions exporting the animals.  That is more reaonable as the trainer will not have opportunity to use the dog to his advantage.  I think take it a step further and market the dogs as trained animals and any financial gain is used to subsidize the costs of the prison.

    • Anonyanmous says:

      20:47 It is people like you why the Grand has been taken out of Cayman.  You arenegative, hateful, hurtful and most of all spiteful and is no good in this society.  I can tell from your post that you are not one of us, because Caymanians just don't think that way we are a loving and forgiving people and the sooner you learn that the better you will be for it.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Just as 11:22 said, we can tell you're not one of us. Go back to where you came from. Thanks 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it is possible to remember the trainer. So an easy solution is any of these dogs trained by the prisoners are exported off island. None should be put into the local community. 


      I had a dog and he got lost when I was a child on island for 10 years. I saw this dog as an adult and the dog recognized me. The new owners were surprised at te behaviour as they had trained the dog to dislike strangers. The dog and I were playing nicely and he still let me rub his belly. 

      While this may bea good initiative. This works for a larger community where the chances of the prisoner interacting with that dog again are nil. This is why the programme works in the US and is not a good idea on this small island unless the dogs are immediately exported off island and not adopted locally. Having the dogs adopted locally is asking for trouble. 

    • B. Earl Lee Breathing says:

      This man made epidemic is like a malignant cancer that is festering in our commmunity.

      Whilst you snark your opinions out of your gullets instead of actually DOING something to aid the dogs like opening your home to a few or donating to the humane society they will be reproducing in record numbers.

      The truth is nobody really cares what happens to these dogs.

      Hence the clustered apprehension ofinmates caring for and training these unwanted beings.

      One ignoramus (i think time stamp 20:47) went as far to prosecute the inmates and the dogs with premeditated co-conspiracy. The audacity of you self centered dullards is sometimes unbearable. Keep your negative and useless comments to your self MR/MS 20:47 so I wont be compelled to let you know how stupid you are! The mere fact of you invoking that your house will be robbed lets me know what type of person you are on exponential levels.


      I say let the inmates take care of the dogs. Sounds like a great idea to me!

      as the great DMX once said, and i quote :

      "Give a dog a bone, leave a dog alone
      let a dog roam and he'll find his way home."



      pease and bacon grease

      • Anonymous says:

        From a person that has been robbed many times by repeat offenders, I think this is the worst idea that they have come up with yet.  One being that I donate things to the humane society all the time and drop off things when I can.  I do not support this initiative.  The inmates can do better things with their time like running in wheels and supporting the energy for the island or doing some hard labour.  We are accused of being a third world country, well let's treat the prisoners like they do in a third world country.  Not in some retirement home where they have pets as companions, catered menus from elite catering companies, regular AC, cable and internet.  Did you forget that the place is a prison?  It is not supposed to be comfortable or nice!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is great. But we still have a problem, at least here in Bodden Town. Youths walking with obviously aggressive dogs and in one case observed recently  a female pit bull whose udders clearly indicated she had given birth. Also several dogs-large ones- just roaming every time their "owners' let them out to crap in someone else's yard.

    But when I try to report it to BT police station, you cannot do it. It has to go to 911


    • Anonymous says:

      I presume the people who are giving this post by 19:36 thumbs down are those who have aggressive dogs and/or those who let their dogs out to mess up other peoples yards?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Of all the qualities suggested, I don't think prisoners can "learn" empathy. They can mimic the outward signs of empathy, but, sadly, most of these guys are too damaged to actually feel empathy. Nevertheless, it's a very good programme.

  14. Physiotherapist says:

    This is a great initiative! I applaud whoever came up with the concept and wish the program the best of luck.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is a wonderful initiative. Congratulations – the Prison is doing so much recently for rehabilitating our young men and it is inspiring. Keep it up.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Someone has been watching "Pits and Parolees" methinks.