Meet Autumn! She is a member of the most recent graduating class from the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center's UTOPIA program! What's that, you ask?
The UTOPIA program is a partnership between Animal Services and the Taylor Correctional Institution (TCI) in Perry, Florida. This program began on June 4, 2007, and aims to increase the adoptability of the dogs in training. The Animal Service Center dogs are housed at the TCI for eight weeks to receive socialization and basic obedience training. All dogs participating in the UTOPIA Program must complete their training before being adopted (minimum eight weeks).
Programs like these benefit not only the dogs but also the inmates working with the dogs. The dogs learn basic obedience training while the inmates learn to care for another while incarcerated, thereby giving more meaning to their time in the facility. It's really a fabulous program, and we have a similar one in Jacksonville called TAILS. I remember an instance in Jacksonville in which, through the help of an anonymous donor, an inmate who helped train a TAILS dog was able to adopt the dog upon his release. It was such a beautiful story!
So Autumn here has had her eight weeks of training and now walks beautifully on her leash, sits patiently for treats and takes them very sweetly. She is crate trained and ready to come home with you! She is available for adoption now at the City of Tallahassee Animal Service Center!