Prisoners enlisted to guide puppies in special training program

  • New partnership between Guide Dogs WA and Corrective Services
  • Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women provides first home for two puppies
  • Innovative training program helps the community and prisoner rehabilitation

Minimum security prisoners at Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women are raising puppies for Guide Dogs WA (GDWA) under a first of its kind partnership in Western Australia.

The primary objective of the program is to prepare puppies for training as guide or assistance dogs for people living with low or no vision, a disability or illness.

With instruction from trainers from GDWA, the prisoners will teach the puppies basic obedience and socialisation, while providing a loving home environment at Boronia.

Under the supervision of Boronia staff, the selected puppy raisers will also take the dogs into shops, restaurants and on public transport as part of the training.

Two specially bred Labrador pups, Pedro and Pablo, were eight weeks old when they were placed with the prisoners. They’ll reside at Boronia for up to 16 months.

As stated by Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia:

“This innovative program is a first for WA prisons and I am very pleased to launch this new partnership with Guide Dogs WA.

“The training will provide a confidence boost for Boronia residents and an education and training opportunity that will prepare them for reintegration post-release.

“We’re also very proud this partnership with Guide Dogs WA will ultimately provide life-changing assistance to members of the community living with disability or illness.”

/Public Release. View in full here.