This summer marked the third anniversary of Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations, or TAILS. Run jointly by Sheriff Greg Munks’ office and the Peninsula Humane Society, the program pairs dogs with behavioral problems with inmates from the Maple Street Complex Facility, a minimum-security prison in Redwood City, California.
The men attend training classes with the animals, where they learn potential job skills like dog grooming and obedience training. At the same time, the dogs get lots of attention and learn to behave, overcoming their documented social issues. After class, inmates bring the dogs back to the facility, continuing the dogs’ training, socializing, and physical workouts. The classes last eight weeks.
Since its launch, nearly 80 inmates and 40 dogs have completed the classes. All 40 of the previously unadoptable dogs have found homes, while inmates claim to enjoy the feeling of responsibility and normality.
Encouraged by the success of TAILS, Sheriff Gregory Munks plans to extend the program to female inmates. He has set aside space in a planned women’s facility.