AK DOC Dogs in Training

Dedicated to the Alaska Department of Corrections Cell Dog and Service Dog Training Goals and Accomplishments

GCCC Prisoner-Trained Dogs Ready for Adoption February 17

It’s time for Goose Creek Shelter Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) dogs to be adopted. All adoptions go through the Mat Su Animal Shelter and all fees are paid to the shelter. The face sheets are attached for your reference. If you would like to meet a dog, call 864-8125 to arrange a meeting.

After your pet receives his or her graduation certificate at the graduation ceremony, you will be able to take your pet home with you.

The graduation ceremony will be on Wednesday, February 24 at 3pm in GCCC Visitation. We will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary of the SPOT program.

To Adopt a Dog:

On Wednesday, February 17 at 11:00am call the Mat Su Animal Shelter at 746-5500, press option 2,

then leave a message that you want to adopt a dog – referencing the animal number on the face sheet.

The shelter will call you back to complete the adoption paperwork. Fees must be paid at that time.

Photo of Baron the Dog

About Baron:

“Hello my name is Baron. I’m a bloodhound so my nose pretty much runs the show. I really love food but can be picky sometimes. I know I’m a big dog, but I am really gentle. Inside I’m really a soft guy, and sometimes I’m scared of my own shadow. I would not make a good hunting dog, unless I am hunting for a treat. I need a family who’ll love me for who I am. I will be your best friend. I am very smart and sometimes forget I’m not a lap dog. I know most of my basic commands and some tricks. Please take me home and I will love you forever!!!”

Photo of Cujo the Dog

About Cujo:

“ Hi my name is Cujo and I’m nothing like my namesake. I am very loving, mellow, and realllly like attention and affection! I also like to play with other dogs of all ages, and so far get along well with them all. I am also gentle, kennel trained, potty trained, and know basic commands. I was not taught to jump up on people or get on furniture, but I will shake, speak, or play bite at people’s hands. So if this is something you want me to do you must teach me. I will love you and be a good addition to your family/pack.”

Photo of Daisy the Dog

About Daisy:

“ Hi, my name is Daisy and I am a 1-1/2 year old, black and tan coonhound, I am very good natured, easygoing, loyal, and very loving. I enjoy being outdoors and prefer to be active. When adequately exercised I’m calm, undemanding, apt to sprawl out and start sleeping whereever. I am well behaved, though my senses get the best of me occasionally. I am very scent driven and bred to follow my nose. I have come a very long way since becoming a part of the S.P.O.T program. I need a home with someone with the time, energy, and a good sense of humor to continue working with me. Also I am a single house hold dog but may learn to play well with others. The reward for taking me home is everlasting love, loyalty, and well…. look at me. I’m adorable!”

Photo of Hank the Dog

About Hank:

“ Hi my name is Hank. I’m a chocolate lab and am 14 months old. I’m very loving and will be your best friend. I love to play, hangout, and learn new things. I’m good with other dogs and am pretty tolerant of the ones I don’t like or those who don’t like me. I’ve learned a lot of things from my trainer, such as: Sit, wait, down, puppy push ups, target or touch, and roll over. I am a very good dog and want someone to love me so I can love and protect. Pleeeese take me home!”

Photo of Ichabod the Dog

About Ichabod:

“ Hi, my name is Icabod and I know we’ve never met but I already love you. I dream of the time we’ll spend playing and going for walks. I am a very good dog who loves food and spending time with my human. I know basic commands and will be eager to learn more. I don’t like to be disturbed by strangers while in my kennel and like to pull when walked. I may seem like a handful at first but please give me a chance. I play well with my human and so far other dogs. Please get me out of here already! ”

Photo of Jemma the Dog

About Jemma:

“ Hi my name is Jemma, I’m about 40 lbs… white with camo splashes on my face, shoulders, and back. I have been going through obedience training. I know sit, stay, come, down, and off. I enjoy playing hide and seek, wrestling, and jogging. When walking with my trainer he taught me left/right/straight verbal commands so I can walk or trot on a long leach without constant corrections. I do not chew on shoes, bite people, or dig in the trash. I am pretty smart and love to learn. I love affection and getting brushed. You should adopt me so you have someone to chill out with inside and some one to play with out side. I have some separation issues but once I know you love me and will come back, I will be ok.”

Photo of Ralphie the Dog

About Ralphie:

“Hi, my name is Ralphie; I’m 1 year 6 months old. I love to play, I have more energy than you and I’m possibly the cutest guy you’ve ever seen, I have one blue eye and one blue and green eye that is split down the middle.(Yeah its true!!) I’ll sit, come, and stay sometimes as long as you don’t go to far away. I know lay down and can take a bow. I am loyal and eager to learn whatever you want. I would love to have another friend to play with, although my trainer says I get too exited around more than one. All in all I’m a good dog who likes to get a little rowdy but I calm down when I know you’re serious.”

Photo of Tyson the Dog

About Tyson:

“Hello to all, my name is Tyson. I’m currently looking for a human or humans to spend the long days and cold nights with. Living in Alaska has taught me that I need a person to snuggle up with when it’s cold. I love to spend time outside running around and playing with other dogs. I’ve been told that I’m a very good hunter because I seem to find all of the shrews that are hiding in the snow. I’ve also been told that they give you bad breath when you chew on them, but I don’t mind. When meeting new dogs I can be kind of standoffish and unsure, but before you know…. I’ll be running and playing in no time at all. I love to have the other dogs run and chase me, but I’m still learning how to share my toys with other dogs, so maybe its best to keep toys and food away for the time being. I’m looking forward to meeting my new pack and spending our lives together. I promise to bring love and happiness to the family.”

GCCC Prisoner-Trained Dogs Ready for Adoption December 3

You can have a new family member for the holidays!

GCCC SPOT (Shelter Pet Obedience Training) adoption is Wednesday, December 3. This is a fun and playful group of dogs with a canine personality to fit in any family. Check out the bios (below) if you are interested in adopting. If you like, call 864-8125 and arrange a visit at GCCC to meet your potential pet. On December 3 at 11 am adoptions will open up. Call the MatSu Borough Animal Shelter at 746-5500, press 2 for adoptions, then leave a message that you want to adopt the dog by the number on the face sheet. The first person to call the Shelter will be considered a priority for adoption. After the MSB Shelter receives the call they will call you back to get your information. All adoption fees apply and are paid to the Shelter. Your adoption papers will be ready on graduation day, December 10, at 3 pm in the GCCC visitation building. You will be handed your new forever pet and your adoption papers at that time. If you can’t make it out to GCCC, your pet will be taken to the MatSu Borough Animal Shelter in Palmer.

Photo of Stella the Dog

About Stella:

“I need a new home for the holidays. I am a great puppy, almost 8 months old. I love to play with people and other dogs and have lots of energy. I go up and down the stairs without any problems. I will do my best to listen to you when you tell me to sit and stay or lay down. I can tell you when I have to go outside. But if you don’t listen when I scratch at the door or whine, I will bark! The guys teaching me this stuff says my fur is really white and feels like a rabbit’s fur. I don’t know about fur rabbit but I am sure I would like to play with one. I have great manners and would love to join your family! Oh yeah, if my cuteness hasn’t won you over, I am a Great Pyrenees mix if that helps you make up your mind.”

Photo of Freckles the Dog

About Freckles:

“Hi I’m Freckles. I’m an Australian Shepherd and approximately 2 years old. I’m very boisterous, very loyal and very lovable. I love to play with other dogs. I want to say hi to everyone I see and of course they love me. I’m highly motivated by food and play. I’m sharp as a tack, whatever that means. I have a high energy level so I need lots of room to run. When I’m excited about something, I make myself heard. I love being a pet, I love having my belly scratched and I love my chew toys. I’d be a great dog for a family with children that can keep up with my energy and give me the exercise I need AND I play well with other dogs my size. My long coat gives me good protection against Alaska’s cold weather. What female doesn’t love a fur coat!” Freckles has learned to: sit, lay down, come, settle, retrieve and is house trained.

Photo of Pinky the Dog

About Pinky:

“Hi I’m Pinky, a tan and white Pit Bull with all the trimmings. I am 15 months old and full of energy (don’t let my size fool you). I love everyone I come in contact with and everyone loves me back. I’m so cute. You might say I am the “Miss Piggy” of the dog world. I’m very energetic and love to play constantly. Plus, I’m good with kids and other animals. I’m very affectionate and love to kiss you but will stop if you tell me to. I would be a good dog for any family that loves animals.” What Pinky knows…Pinky knows: sit, shake, come, high five, lay down.

Photo of Happy the Dog

About Happy:

“Hi I’m Happy, not happy like that—well I’m happy too, but, my name’s Happy. I am a Doberman Pinscher mix and I have tons of energy, but not the bad kind that drives you crazy. Enough with the semantics. I will bond with you if you take me home. I’m learning to be more social because the guys I have been hanging out with for the past few months are teaching me that it’s ok to be a dog (and I am soooo cute). I love everyone and even other animals. I am kind of a pack dog so I don’t mind being the beta to your alpha. The best thing about me is I’m fully house broken. I mean, who isn’t these days, right? I like to exercise a lot and I’m highly motivated by food, so keep the treats handy. Here are some of my commands: Heel, Sit, Come, Lay Down, Kennel Up.”

Photo of Cyrus the Dog

About Cyrus:

“It’s your dog Cyrus! I am a Chesapeake Bay Retriever with some American Terrier mixed in for good measure. I’m one year old and weigh 55 pounds. Don’t let my size stop you from loving me though. I have to admit I am extremely shy around strangers and it takes a while before you warm up to me. So come out to Goose Creek and get to know me. I really need a nice home, preferably with a loving, patient family that likes to have lots and lots of fun. I would like to live with adults who have older children. I love playing with other dogs and having my belly rubbed too. My favorite thing is food, lots of and lots of food. Check out some of the things I can do: Sit, Come, Lay Down, Kennel up. I am sure I can do more if you invest your time and love in me.”

Photo of Cyrus the Dog

Photo of Easy the Dog

About Easy:

“My name is Easy and I do live up to my name. I am a Labrador Poodle mix. I love to play fetch and I have a very soft mouth when I bring the ball back. Just because I am big (70 pounds) doesn’t mean I play rough. Just say drop it and we can do it again and again, it’s that Easy (I crack myself up). People say I look like a human in a dog suit, but I think I just look like my Mom (check out my soulful eyes). Anyway, I’m good with kids, animals and people. Plus I am smart as a whip (whatever that is)! Here’s what I can do: Sit, Come, Lay, Kennel Up, Shake, Play Dead and Roll Over.”

Photo of Liam the Dog

About Liam:

Hi my name is Liam. I’m a fun loving dog that likes to run and loves to play and chase other dogs. Well I am part Greyhound. The other part of me is Husky. I’m highly energized, food motivated and excited about everything. Yee-Ha! I like most dogs and people, but really, I’m just looking for a caring family that likes to play and has lots of time and space for me. Yahoo! Take me home!! You will love me! I know how to: Sit, Heel, Off, Kennel-Up, Leave it, Drop It, Come, Shake and High Five!”

Goose Creek SPOT Graduates Available for Adoption

Four dogs who have completed the Goose Creek Shelter Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) program are available for adoption through the Mat Su Animal Shelter with all fees paid to the shelter. Each dog’s face sheet is attached to this post. If you would like to meet a dog, call PO Dekarske at 864-8125 to arrange a meeting. After your pet receives his or her graduation certificate you will be able to take your pet home with you. The graduation ceremony will be on Thursday, June 26 at 3pm in GCCC Visitation.

The steps to adopt a dog are as follows: On Tuesday June 24 at 11:00am call the Mat Su Animal Shelter at 746-5500 and select option 2. Leave a message that you want to adopt a dog – referencing the animal number on the face sheet. The shelter will call you back to complete the adoption paperwork.

Goose Creek Conducts Inaugural SPOT Graduation

Photo of GCCC SPOT graduates

The Goose Creek Correctional Center held its first SPOT Dog graduation ceremony Friday, April 4th.  The following dogs, graduates of the program will be available for adoption:

  • Sadie is a German Shepherd mix.  Her winter coat is brownish; as summer approached her coat shows more shepherd characteristics. Sadie is very curious about what is going on around her and loves to run.  Sadie loves to play keep away with the ball.  Sadie is very gentle and lovable. Sadie has learned how to sit, lay down and shake.  She has also learned the command “no.” She is kennel trained and house broken. Sadie has learned to be more confident and has become much more comfortable around people than she was when she arrived.
  • Faith has learned to heel, fetch, lay down, wait, and has developed patience and temperance.  She has learned to walk by the handler’s side when off leash. Faith has also learned her name. Faith is a brindle boxer mix that is brown and black with white on her face. She is well muscled with a good coat and healthy skin.  She is very playful.
  • Carley has learned a lot of patience and many commands.  She gets her leash when she wants to go out.  She has learned that she does not have to eat her food immediately when it is given to her.  She also has learned to be comfortable in her kennel. She can sit and stay, lay down, and heel.  She can also do tricks with treats by leaving them on her paws and not taking them until told to do so. Carley can also shake hands. Carley is a 9-month-old golden retriever and black lab mix.  She has a very black, thick, and shiny coat.  She loves to play fetch and soccer.  She also loves baths. Carley is a wonderful dog.
  • Tank has learned to sit, lay down, stay, come, shake, fetch and walk on a leash.  Tank has also learned to sit and wait for the release command before eating. Tank is a brown brindle and white malamute-pitbull mix. He loves to play and is full of energy.
  • Annabell has learned basic obedience such as sit, stay, lay down, kennel up, stay, heel etc.  Annabell can also do tricks such as hold a treat on her nose until she is told she can have it.  Annabell also responds to hand signals. Annabell is a three year old yellow lab mix that weighs about 60 pounds and is very energetic and friendly.  Annabell is a very well behaved dog.
  • Mac (who has been adopted) has learned the basics such as sit, stay, kennel up, wait at doors, how to play fetch and drop toys.  Mac also has learned how to walk on a leash without pulling.  Mac can roll over and leave treats. Mac is an 80-pound black lab and will make a great pet.

Interested in adopting? Contact the Matsu Bureau Animal Shelter at (907) 746-5500.

Wildwood SPOT Dogs Available for Adoption





Two dogs trained at Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai are looking for adoptive homes. LeRoy is a neutered full-blood Labrador who is very gentle. LeRoy is deaf, but has learned some hand signals. Roman is a year-old Black Lab mix and will be ready for adoption in about four weeks. He’s a big guy, about 80 pounds and would make a great hiking companion. He is neutered and up to date on shots.

Lillie Gets Lucy: Wildwood SPOT Graduate Adopted for Service Dog Training

New DOC Buses

Lillie (holding leash), Lucy (on leash)

Shannon McCloud, assistant superintendent at Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai reports the following:

The Wildwood Transitional Facility “SPOT” program is happy to announce the adoption of Lucy. A family inquired about adopting a dog to continue in training to be a service dog. When the family arrived to look at the dog, Lillie grabbed the leash and said “my Lucy!” The inmates and staff nearly melted into the floor! Lucy the Lab is doing well in her new home.

Wildwood also has for adoption: LeRoy, a full blood black lab, very smart, full of energy but is deaf. Inmate trainers are working on teaching him hand signals. It is a slow process but he already knows quite a few commands. He is available now. Roman is a very large Black Lab mix. He is still in puppy training as he is only about 10 months old. He is learning his basic commands and should be available in about 4-6 weeks. Are you interested in adopting LeRoy or Roman? If so, please email Assistant Superintendent McCloud HERE.

Obedience Program begins at Wildwood Minimum Camp


Milo, an Australian Shepherd is the first dog to undergo training at Wildwood Minimum Camp’s new SPOT program.

The Wildwood Correctional Center Minimum Camp has started a dog program. The program was originally started by Hiland Mountain and has proven to be a very successful community partnership.

Wildwood Correctional Center has inaugurated a SPOT (Special Pet Obedience Training) program and its first dog is MILO, an Australian Shepherd. MILO will remain at the minimum camp and be the ambassador dog for the program, said Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud.

“Once training has begun and the inmate handlers understand the process, a dog from the local animal shelter will be placed at the facility, and when basic training is complete, the local pet shelter will work on placement of the dog with a family,” McCloud said. “So far the program has been positive therapy for inmates and staff. It is hoped that the program will grow in the future as more handlers are trained to work within the program.”

Service Dog training at Hiland Mountain Correctional Cntr.


Working with the Mat Su Animal Shelter, Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (HMCC) began the Special Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) program in May 2006. The program is governed by a letter of agreement between the institution and the Mat-Su Borough Animal Care & Regulation Division

The program has been successful since its inception. HMCC prisoners have trained over 250 dogs, and the public has adopted just about every dog that successfully completed the program.

Selected prisoners partner with shelter dogs for intensive eight to 10-week obedience training program, resulting in dogs that are more desirable for adoption by the public. Dogs live in kennels that are kept in the rooms of inmates who train them. The dogs learn basic obedience skills including sit, stay, heel, shake and roll-over.

Staff at the Mat-Su animal shelter assesses each dog for suitability of temperament and the potential to be trained.


HMCC inmate trainers work with a service dog in training

In 2007, SPOT staff and inmates have developed the skills necessary to begin the process of specialized training for specific types of service. HMCC particularly geared the dogs for post trauma stress and mobility for wounded warriors. The program was based on a very successful service dog training program at Camp Lejeune. It is estimated that without volunteer time and labor from inmates, it can cost up to 38,000 to train a service dog of this type.

The program has demonstrated its ability to succeed as its first graduate; a lab mix named Wyatt, completed training and is now a service companion for a wounded warrior. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Alaska Department helped facilitate the match between Wyatt and wounded warrior Sgt. William Ondell Ft Richardson.

The second graduate, Levi a golden retriever/ shepherd mix who arrived at HMCC at the age of 6 months, shy and skittish although he had a certain something the lead trainer liked so he was carried over from the SPOT program as he was not yet adopted. Levi completed his training and was matched with wounded warrior, Specialist Martin K. Moxley Glennallen, Alaska.

The most recent graduate of the service program is Sha-Ren, a SharPei/Labrador mix who arrived at HMCC at 6 weeks old and was slated only for the service program. Up to the age of 9 months she advanced quickly and excelled in her basic obedience but could not be bothered to retrieve or hold items in her mouth. At what seemed like the eleventh hour of her service training she decided she could hold items in her mouth and she basically snowballed forward in her training. Being only 55 lbs and 22 inches tall she was smaller then her predecessor but still was capable of bracing for a human as well as carrying any objects asked to any destination requested. Sha Ren was matched with her wounded warrior PFC Garrett, Ft Richardson Alaska.