Future Can Do Canines assistance dogs headed to Waseca prison for training

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Madagascar, a five-month-old black Labrador, is one of 10 puppies being trained to be a Can Do Canines assistance dog by inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca. (Sun Post staff photos by Gina Purcell)

Madagascar, a five-month-old black Labrador, is one of 10 puppies being trained to be a Can Do Canines assistance dog by inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca. (Sun Post staff photos by Gina Purcell)

Ten black Labrador puppies briefly stopped at New Hope’s Can Do Canines Jan. 5 before making the trek to the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca for training.
Can Do Canines, an organization training assistance dogs for people living with disabilities, operates puppy raising and training programs in five Minnesota correctional facilities.
Through the program, two inmates are assigned to each dog. The inmates raise the dog and teach it obedience. Inmates may also teach the dog some assistance skills such as pulling a door open or turning on a light switch.
At any given time, Can Do Canines can have 40-50 dogs in the prison program, according to the organization’s website.
The program allows the dogs to receive care and around-the-clock attention and training. The inmates also learn new skills and develop confidence, dedication and patience, according to the organization’s website.

The 5-month-old puppies sent to the women-only prison will remain there until they are 14 months old. The dogs will make regular trips to foster homes while in Waseca, learning to socialize and adapt to different surroundings.

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