For the past few years, Nickell Moulding has been donating a percentage of House Stock sales to support veterans with the VetDogs program. Currently we’re sponsoring training for this beautiful lab named Butkus. Butkus has spent the past 8 weeks in prison program training.
America’s VetDogs Prison Puppy Program benefits everyone involved in the program: inmates, correctional facility staff, weekend puppy raiser volunteers and of course their new handler and partner. Beginning at about 8 weeks old, VetDogs in training go to live with specially chosen inmates at partnering correctional facilities. For a year, under the direction of a VetDogs instructor, the pups in the program follow a service dog curriculum; inmates teach them how to do specific tasks such as turn on lights, open doors, and retrieve dropped items.
On weekends, the pups live with weekend raisers to gain the socialization experiences not found within a prison environment. They bring the puppy everywhere they go including restaurants, libraries, the mall and as many different environments as possible. They also expose it to many different situations including schools, busy pedestrian areas, other animals, and interaction with children. A well-socialized puppy will have fewer adjustments to make when it comes back to VetDogs for formal service dog training.
Butkis is now back in Smithtown, New York for his formal training with a VetDogs trainer. This final rigorous three to six month training program helps Butkus attain the last of the skills necessary to become an assistance dog.
To learn more about America’s VetDog, please visit VetDogs.org.