Shelties Nicky and Maxie Graduate from the Pups at the Pen Program

Modified: August 12, 2016 7:09am


Buffalo, NY – Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and SPCA Executive Director Gary Willoughby announced today that Nicky and Maxie have graduated from the Pups at the Pen program at the Erie County Correctional Facility.


Nicky and Maxie were surrendered to the SPCA this summer and became the first candidates for this new program.  The dogs completed a six-week session, living with female inmates and receiving training every day.  They worked on leash-walking, focus and motivation exercises, basic commands, roundabout turns, hand targeting, and more.


The dogs will be available for adoption 4:00 pm Saturday, August 13 at the SPCA’s “Canines on the Catwalk” event in Slade Park at the Erie County Fair. They are bonded brothers and must be adopted together.


Sheriff Timothy Howard states, “This program has been great and went beyond our expectations during our first training session.  All the feedback I received was positive and I understand this program was extremely valuable for the inmates and dogs alike and I am looking forward to the next training session and making this a long-term partnership with the SPCA Serving Erie County.  Our final step is to find a home that matches these great dogs.”


“Here are two dogs who have received a tremendous amount of love and a level of consistent and constant training impossible to achieve in a shelter setting,” says SPCA Executive Director Gary Willoughby. “We are anxious to place them in a new home where they can show off their new skills, and we're equally anxious to see what is in store for the dog selected as the next pup at the pen. The program holds tremendous promise for our shelter's dogs.”


The next Pups at the Pen dog(s) will be transported to the Erie County Correctional Facility later this month.


The Pups at the Pen program helps the dogs with socialization skills, and provides care, and attention throughout the program. The dogs live with the inmates in the housing area and the teams utilize parts of the facility for training, socializing, and recreation.


The SPCA specifically selects canine candidates for the program who may need extra attention or who have special needs; a training representative from the SPCA works with the inmates weekly to teach them how to teach the dogs proper behavior and socialization skills, ultimately preparing the dogs for successful placement.


For more information about the Pups at the Pen program or to inquire about Nicky and Maxie please contact Gina Browning at the SPCA Serving Erie County, 716.629.3505.