Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Trained dogs up for adoption through SPOT

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Thursday, December 06, 2007

PALMER—Yet again eleven dogs will walk to the Pomp and Circumstance march as part of another successful graduation of the SPOT program. Some of the dogs still need a home, many of them husky mixes.

In just a year, more than 70 dogs will have been saved through this special training and adoption program that pairs inmates with unwanted dogs.

SPOT, is the Shelter Pet Obedience Training pilot project. The program is practiced nationwide, but is the first of its kind in Alaska. The program is a partnership between the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the state Department of Corrections.

Inmate handlers get support in training skills from professional obedience trainer Cheri Hagen, who volunteers her time.

The graduation takes place next Wed., Aug. 8, at 3 p.m. at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River at 9101 Hesterberg Road.

It's not uncommon at dog graduations for an inmate and new owner to embrace and blush at their own public tears over a dog that started life with hard knocks.

For more information call MAT-SU Animal Care Chief Dave Allison at 745-5343 or Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at 745-9577. Reporters please call ahead for access to the prison.

To see photos of the dogs up for adoption visit