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Local prison dog training program gives homes, hope to those who need it

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - Eight dogs have spent the last 11 weeks at the Airway Heights Corrections Center, getting trained by the inmates there and now, they're ready for their next adventure -- adoption.

One by one, those dogs made their way outside Tuesday, met by a group of families waiting to take them home. 

"She's an older dog, but I figured an older dog can be loved too and I'm an older guy, so I thought we'd get along pretty good," said Jim Puls, who adopted 8-year-old Aussie-Collie mix Roxy. "I think she's a friendly dog and she's got good manners and she's not real hyper."

Jim's dog passed away in December and now, he's ready for his next road trip buddy.

"I do a lot of miles and just companionship and, I don't know, you get in traffic and you can reach around and pet a dog and it calms your nerves down," Jim said.

Before they hit the road, Jim and Roxy were joined by their adoption sponsor Zach Harper, who also knows a thing or two about loss. Stray voltage from a heated sidewalk killed his dog Hank back in February.

"Through all the negative, I've tried to come out the other side with even more positivity," Zach said.

He found even more of that positivity Tuesday, as he passed Roxy's leash to Jim, knowing just how special their bond is going to become. 

"It's a relationship that can never be duplicated or replaced," Zach said. "I think in a lot of ways, these animals are saving the recipients and the recipients save the animals."

The next group of dogs in the Pawsitive Dog Prison Training Program will head to AHCC next month.


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