IMSI dog trainers get agility gear

Dog with basketball
Newt plays with a basketball
By Larissa Pfeifer, PSRS, IMSI

IMSI’s IDAPI (Inmate and Dog Alliance Project of Idaho) program recently received an entire agility training set for use with the canines. 

A citizen wishing to remain anonymous donated an entire agility set to the Humane Society with the specification that they were donating it for use with the IDAPI program. IMSI was the lucky facility to receive this equipment. 

IMSI ILD workers worked extra hours to seal the loose pieces of the equipment so that it would meet security standards at IMSI. 

The set includes four different adjustable jumping bars, a tire jump, weaving poles and a running tube. 

IDAPI trainers were able to use the equipment for the first time last Friday. 

Anyone watching the training on the ballfield that day might have been amused to see canine trainers "showing" their dogs how to jump, weave and crawl. 

This donation is a huge asset for the IMSI IDAPI program and greatly increases the level of training the canine trainers can provide.

The IMSI IDAPI program has been in place for approximately six years. 

There are currently IDAPI programs at IMSI, ISCI, ISCC and SICI. There are similar programs at PWCC and ICIO that work with local humane societies. 

The program pairs experienced canine trainers with canines that have been abused, neglected or under-socialized. 

The program is normally eight weeks long. 

Thanks to a very supportive Warden, IMSI has been allowed to keep canines for additional training if requested by the Humane Society. 

The longest canine term at IMSI was eight months. That canine was successfully adopted last year.  

Larissa Pfeifer is a psycho-social rehabilitation specialist at IMSI. In addition to serving as the coordinator of the IMSI canine project, she is a member of the IDOC Honor Guard and on the department’s Crisis Incident Stress Management team.

You can see more photos of the dogs with the agility gear on IDOC's Facebook page, idoc.alert. 

Story published: 09/03/2015
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