Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to launch program with veteran inmates, dogs

Apr 7, 2016, 8:30 AM
Veteran inmates housed in the Maricopa County Sheriff's veterans pod meet with dogs in the departme...
Veteran inmates housed in the Maricopa County Sheriff's veterans pod meet with dogs in the department's MASH unit as a part of a new program to help deal with stress and other problems. (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is going to the dogs — literally.

The department, headed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, will implement a new program in the Maricopa Animal Safe Haven, or MASH, unit that will allow veteran inmates to meet with man’s best friend every Wednesday.

Pups of all different breeds, from pitbulls to terriers, will be shuttled from their home at the First Avenue Jail to the Towers Jail to visit the veterans weekly. Arpaio said the program will be good therapy for the inmates and the dogs.

“Dogs are man’s best friend,” he said. “Many vets worked with dogs in foreign countries and just want to connect again with dogs.”

The dogs will visit the jail in the veterans pod, which was established by Arpaio in an effort to rehabilitate veterans and address some key problems, including PTSD.

Arpaio said the dogs in the MASH unit were taken from abusive or neglectful situations and are cared for by the department while awaiting adoption.

“The dogs been abused and kept in the jail,” he said. “We’ll help adopt them out, but in the mean time, we will use the dogs to relate to veterans.”

Studies have found that having dogs around is a stress reliever, even in hospitals, and Arpaio said despite their criminal history, he hopes the program will bring joy to the men who have spent time serving the country.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “We can’t forget our military veterans. Maybe the animals will help them out and I’m sure the animals will be happy too.”

Even though the program is still in its early stages, Arpaio said he is hopeful that it will help out both the veterans and the dogs.

“I believe it will be successful,” he said. “Dogs are very good therapy whether they are trained or not and veterans can still have companionship with them.”

“What’s the downside? I don’t see any downside.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Attorney General Mark Brnovich's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine in Arizona

A man was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his role in trafficking methamphetamine in Arizona, officials said. 
1 day ago
(Phoenix Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Sept. 23-25

Police find more fentanyl, Scottsdale tells HOAs they can't require overseeding and these Phoenix restaurants were highlighted this week.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)...
KTAR.com

Honduras man charged with high-speed flight from Arizona immigration checkpoint

An 18-year-old man from Honduras was charged with high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint last week, authorities said. 
1 day ago
FILE - Family members and friends march seeking justice for the missing 43 Ayotzinapa students in M...
Associated Press

The role the Mexican Army had in the 2014 disappearance of 43 students

The Mexican army’s role in the disappearance of 43 college students and its links to organized crime are at the center of a case.
1 day ago
Tania Estudillo Hernandez. (El Mirage Police Department Photo)...
KTAR.com

Woman in El Mirage arrested for managing human smuggling operations

A woman was arrested Friday evening for her role in a human smuggling operation based in El Mirage, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police shoot, kill man throwing rocks at patrol car

Phoenix police are investigating an officer-involved shooting after a man throwing rocks at a patrol car died Saturday evening.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office to launch program with veteran inmates, dogs