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Pawsitive Change

Creating hope and opportunity for incarcerated people and pets so both may find a path home.

Pawsitive Change

Marley’s Mutts® partners with California state prisons to select 24-30 incarcerated individuals and 8-10 at-risk shelter dogs for each prison program cycle. Interested candidates submit an application for the program, write an essay and undergo an interview.  Those chosen for the program submit to a 14 week course, that involves very challenging blocks of course work which involve weekly homework assignments and personal goals. 

​We measure success by the following metrics: 

Human Metrics

  • Increased willingness and ability to cooperate and engage positively in team-settings

  • Increased ability to tolerate, experience, and express emotional discomfort in a constructive manner

  • Increased awareness of the needs and emotional states of self and others, and appropriate behavioral responses

  • Increased reported sense of camaraderie among participants

  • Increased reported sense of self-esteem and social value

  • Increased willingness and ability to engage in honest self-reflection

  • Increased understanding of canine behavior and how canine-handling principles can be applied to interpersonal relationships in and out of incarceration

  • Procurement of canine-handling skills for professional application after incarceration

Canine Metrics

  • Completion of Canine Good Citizen Certification

  • Increased signs of trust and respect with handlers and other humans

  • Decreased symptoms of nervousness, insecurity, and fear

  • Decreased tendencies toward possessiveness and territoriality 

  • Increased balanced social behavior toward other dogs

  • Increased obedience to handlers

To learn more about the Pawsitive Change program please contact:

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