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By Makenzie Davis
Staff Writer 

Pups on Parole receive training


December 6, 2016

Makenzie Davis

Mesahaus Dog Training teaches California Correctional Center inmate firefighters some tips for training pups for the Pups on Parole Program.

Some recent training at the Pups on Parole program was beneficial not just for the friendly canines, but also for their inmate handlers.

The Pups on Parole program, initiated in 2008, has adopted out about 450 pups to homes.

The California Correctional Center, in connection with the Lassen Humane Society, runs the program where dogs from the animal shelter are placed with firefighter inmate handlers. The men work with the dogs every day before they are adopted. The dogs receive all their shots, are spayed or neutered and micro-chipped.

To further help the program, CCC brought Mesahaus Dog Training to the inmate firehouse to give some training to the seven pups available for adoption as well as the handlers, who will be able to utilize the training for future dogs.

"This training is good," said Eric Russell, California Correctional firefighter and handler to Xena, a 1-year-old boxer and shepherd mix. "She's already responded well. She's a pretty smart dog. She just needs a little bit of guidance."

The handlers stay with dogs until they are adopted. Russell is on his fifth dog.

Shirley Mesa from Mesahaus Dog Training offered tips to the handlers, teaching how to correct the pups getting them to calmly walk beside the handler, sit, stay and lie down.

Handler Randy Elson worked with his current pup Clint, a young Labrador retriever mix during the training.

He reflected on how the dogs sent to the program will receive training and will become adapted to being around people.

According to the new Pups on Parole coordinator Rikki Meir, since she has led the group, they had not received in-person training.

Both Mesa and her husband worked for California Correctional Center and High Desert State Prison and now have returned to help the program.

"It's great," Mesa said, "Anything to help the dogs get good homes – it's wonderful."

Mesahaus Dog Training is located in Susanville and Mesa is a Certified Canine Training Specialist.

All seven dogs currently in the program are available for adoption for a fee.

For more information, call Lassen Humane Society at 257-4555.


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