The Dog Rehabilitation Program is a joint venture based on a Service Partnership agreement between the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals NSW (RSPCA NSW) and the Commissioner of Corrective Service NSW (CSNSW).
The Program gives selected minimum security inmates an opportunity to learn pet industry-related vocational skills which can help them find employment after their release from custody.
Inmates who have been selected for participation in the Program complete nationally recognised qualifications so they can train, exercie and care for dogs rescued by the RSPCA NSW. When a dogs responds well to the Program, and once the dog is considered safe and healthy enough, the RSPCA NSW will arrange for the dog to be adopted as a well-behaved pet.
Inmates at the Dog Rehabilitation Program are under the supervision of correctional officers who also have access to training and development opportunities related to animal studies.
The Program is conducted at the Dog Rehabilitation Kennels at the Outer Metropolitan Multi-Purpose Correctional Centre on the John Maroney Correctional Complex.
The Dog Rehabilitation Program is one of several animal programs which have vocational and training components for inmates in NSW correctional centres.
For example, at the Wildlife Care Centre on the John Morony Correctional Complex, women inmates look after sick and endangered animals.
Also women inmates at the Dillwynia Correctional Centre are involved in the highly successful Greyhounds as Pets Program which is a collaborative project between Corrective Services NSW and Greyhound Racing NSW.
Corrective Services NSW also has a proud history in its work with Assistance Dogs Australia. Inmates take reponsability for the training of pups so they can perform specific tasks such as opening and closing doors, turning night switches on and off and pressing pedestrian crossing butons. At the end of their program, these assistance dogs are placed free of charge with disabled people in the community.