The PAWS program at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex pairs TJJD youth with K-9 partners, who come from the Corinne T. Smith Animal Shelter, for 12 weeks. During this time, the dogs learn basic commands, improve their socialization skills and earn the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizenship certification. Youth learn empathy, compassion and responsibility. They are responsible for their dogs at all times and do all the feeding, grooming and training. The dogs live on the dorms with the students.

One such dog, Squirt, is ready for adoption. If you are interested in providing a forever home for this beautiful animal, please contact Holli Fenton, Dorm Supervisor at (325) 641-4260 or Freda Day, Corinne T. Smith Animal Center Director, at (325) 646-0617.

Squirt is a year-old, gray and brown Alaskan Husky mix who weighs in at about 50 lbs. His student trainer describes him as “sweet, loving, friendly and very high-energy. She feels he would do best in a family with older children and that he would enjoy being in a house with other dogs.” Like every “PAWS” dog, Squirt has achieved his Canine Good Citizenship Certification and knows all basic commands and some pretty neat tricks. His personal favorites are: beg, paw (shake), high five, high ten, sit pretty and pray (which means to sit and bow his head, I asked too.) Squirt’s student trainer described her time with him as a very positive experience. “He senses emotions, can always tell when I’m feeling bad and does tricks or gets me to play with him so I cheer up.” The student says she has learned patience and the art of coping with stress during her time with Squirt. Squirt, himself, made a request: Anyone who takes me must love to give belly rubs!”