Pairing Achievement With Service (PAWS)

NEW! Adopt a PAWS dog!

PAWS is a unique program that uses the natural relationship that comes from the bond between humans and animals living together and being responsible for each other.

The PAWS program pairs select TJJD youth with K9 partners for a minimum of 12 weeks. The dogs, which come from local animal shelters, learn basic commands, improved socialization skills, and earn a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Certification. This certification is recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior. Youth learn responsibility and benefit from the companionship.

During the 12 week program, youth are responsible for their dogs at all times. They must groom, feed, and train them. The dogs live on the dorm with their human caretakers. Youth who are interested must apply and participate in psychological screening. Behavior consultants, who consider breed characteristics, temperament, and reaction to distraction and other dogs, screen the dogs before they are accepted into the program.

Once the training program is completed, the TJJD facility and local animal center hold an adoption day. This is a chance for youth to help their K9 friends demonstrate their new skills and tricks and meet prospective new owners.

Therapeutic Benefits:

TJJD’s Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Facility is home to some of the state’s most serious and chronic young female offenders. Most of these young women will be returning home to their communities after successfully completing TJJD’s CoNEXTions© Treatment Program.

The TJJD therapeutic approach involves connecting youth with positive social forces and assets, drawing on community resources to engage youth, and engaging youth in pro-social activities and opportunities. PAWS is a natural fit.

Upcoming Dog Adoption Event:
Our next adoption event will be announced shortly.


Dr. Joe Speck, DVM

Dr. David Geeslin, DVM
Dr. Pepper