Niagara County starts program with incarcerated people training dogs for veterans

Posted 7 August 2021 at 8:59 am

Press Release, Niagara County Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti

Provided photos: In Niagara County some of the incarcerated individuals are working with dogs to prepare them for homes with veterans.

LOCKPORT – Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti is proud to announce the “Pawsitive for Heroes” program at the Niagara County Correctional Facility.

This program, in partnership with WNY Heroes and Niagara County SPCA, will have incarcerated

individuals training canines which will be used for veterans who are in need of a service dog.

Through a partnership with the Niagara County SPCA, a canine is selected by a WNY Heroes’ trainer and then housed at the Niagara County Correctional Facility. There, they

are paired up with incarcerated individuals who will complete a rigorous training program with their partner.

After completing their program, the dogs will continue on their journey to stay with veteran in Western New York.

The first three dogs to enter the Pawsitive for Heroes program are Hemi and Daffodil, two pit bull type breed of dogs that were available for adoption through the Niagara

County SPCA. This program has afforded Hemi and Daffodil an opportunity to serve those in need. We also received a dog from WNY Heroes to train, who answers to Bandit.

“Having this type of program in the Niagara County Correctional Facility is an outstanding opportunity for our veterans, incarcerated individuals and the canines selected,” said Sheriff Michael J. Filicetti. “The skills that are being learned throughout this process will enable those incarcerated individuals to apply what they have learned upon their release. This is a win-win for all of the organizations who will benefit from this program.”

Chris Kreiger, founder of WNY Heroes, stated, “This has been a program in the works since 2018. We are ever so honored to put this program together which will only serve more

veterans in WNY. In partnership with the Niagara County SPCA, we will strive to gather our dogs from their facility, saving both veterans and dogs at the same time.”