A small group of carefully selected inmates at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center
have volunteered to obedience train abandoned dogs from the Mat-Su Animal Care Center
as part of a pilot program.
Under an agreement between the state's correctional center for women and the Mat-Su animal
shelter, the SPOT Program uses inmate volunteers to better prepare shelter dogs for adoption.
A professional Kennel Owner and Rottweiler breeder, Cheri Hagen, donates her services to teach
the inmate handlers how to train the dogs.
Dogs remain with inmate trainers for 6-10 weeks. "Each dog receives obedience training from a
team of two inmates. In order to volunteer for the program, inmates must have no disciplinary
write-ups, must have or be actively working for a GED, and must have six or more months left
in their sentence, and they cannot have a history of child abuse," said Superintendent Dean
The animal care center pre-screens the dogs for suitability and good health, and makes sure
the dogs are current on all required vaccinations. In addition, the center provides kennels,
food, leashes and feeding bowls.
For more information, please visit the Mat-SU Animal Shelter website at: