The Steps To Adoption Readiness (STAR) Partnership is a cooperative program between the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society and the Albany County Sheriff's Department. It is designed to help homeless dogs and positively impact inmates at the Albany County Correctional Facility.
The Sheriff's Department has agreed to allow the Humane Society to bring homeless dogs to live at the Correctional Facility for up to six weeks at a time. During their stay, the dogs will live with a small group of inmates who will attend weekly training classes. Between classes the inmates will be given homework to keep up the dogs' progress.
The program has proven to be a tremendous benefit to both dogs and inmates. The dogs, who are friendly but have never been trained, come out of the program knowing how to behave in their new home (in addition to quite a few impressive tricks). The inmates learn new skills and a new way of communicating. Our trainers use only positive reinforcement, reward-based training that helps inmates learn a positive way to communicate with others. Just as dogs anywhere make an environment a better place to be, the dogs make the Correctional Facility a more positive place with a better atmosphere to facilitate true rehabilitation for both people and dogs.
One of the most important pieces of the program is the participation of two professional dog trainers, Glenn Pierce from Power Puppy Dog Training and Chris Danker from Hemlock Hollow Dog Training. Glenn and Chris created a six-week curriculum for the program and they both go to the jail once a week to teach a training class. After the training is done the dogs will be back at the Humane Society for adoption.