At-Risk Shelter Dogs Given Another Chance at Life with Veterans and Inmates through Marley’s Mutts Pawsitive Change Program

Photo by Eddie Galaxy from Pexels

LOS ANGELES — Hounds and Heroes and Marley’s Mutts® Dog Rescue announce a partnership within the initiative, Pawsitive Change Prison Program. The collaboration between the two organizations will pair at-risk shelter dogs with incarcerated individuals and veterans through the Pawsitive Change Program, co-founded by Zach Skow, Founder and PR Director of Marley’s Mutts.

Select individuals of California state and federal prisons will participate in the Pawsitive Change Program. They will participate in a 14-week obedience training program with 8-10 at-risk shelter dogs.  Graduates will earn their Canine Good Citizen certificate to move on to assessment for the Emotional Support Animal Program with Hounds and Heroes will making final evaluations. Pawsitive Change graduates displaying calm demeanor, patience, obedience and love of human contact, could be paired with a veteran who will go through ESA training with the dog. Eligible dogs graduating from these programs will go to these selected veterans; all adoption fees waived.

Hounds and Heroes (T/IG @houndsandheroes) an established non-profit organization founded by Bonnie-Jill Laflin, a highly successful woman that made her mark in both the NBA and NFL, Pairs high risk shelter dogs with combat veterans who are physically disabled or who suffer from post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury.

Suicide is at all-time high for veterans, and by helping a veteran, a dog and a prisoner, Bonnie-Jill Laflin and Zach Skow hope to save three lives with each service or therapy trained dog. The at-risk dogs otherwise may have been euthanized in a shelter, and the new program gives a prisoner a new purpose and skill set in life.

Zach Skow: Founder of Marley’s Mutts & Pawsitive Change, Skow was diagnosed with end stage liver disease in 2008. Zach owes his life to the dogs and through Marley’s Mutts, he makes good on a daily debt of gratitude that is truly a labor of love and his life’s highest calling.

Bonnie-Jill Laflin: Hounds and Heroes has 6 championship rings in 2 professional sports, earning a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers and 5 NBA rings as an executive for the Los Angeles Lakers. She’s advocated in Capital Hill for animal rights since 2009.

SOURCE Hounds and Heroes


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