AK DOC Dogs in Training

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

Wildwood Fast-Tracks Mocha for Adoption


Mocha: ready for adoption


Mocha is a female husky/black lab mix and is around a year old. She is spayed and up to date on her shots. She has been through basic obedience at Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai and is ready for her forever home. She is very sweet and loving. There is an adoption fee (around $150) to cover some of the costs of the spay and shots. Please contact 260-7282 or 260-7212 if you need more information.

Champion Dog Mushers Visit Hiland Mountain

Champion dog mushers visit Hiland Mountain

Mushers Aliy Zirkle, left, and Allen Moore, right, are joined by Iditarod Trail Committee Race Marshall Mark Nordman, prisoner dog trainers Cindy Galvan with Cooper and Winona Fletcher with Trinity

Iditarod Musher and 2013 runner-up Aliy Zirkle and 2013 Yukon Quest winner Allen Moore stopped at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center to speak with prisoners and thank them for their “dropped dog” care offered each Iditarod season. The Two Rivers, Alaska mushers made a trip to Hiland Mountain to talk to the women about their Race experiences, their kennel, their dogs and their partnership. “They both wanted to give back to the women who take care of the Iditarod dogs that are dropped from the race and placed at Hiland every year until the teams can return them to their kennels,” said HMCC Superintendent Mike Gilligan. “The Hiland women loved the presentation, the interaction and the experience. It was a very positive event for everyone.”

HMCC Welcomes SAGE!


Pictured is the newest Service Dog recruit at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. Sage is a mixed-breed puppy, age 10 weeks. Said Superintendent Dean Marshall: “We expect great things from Sage. You can see the Eye of the Tiger!”

Niveka Rose newest puppy at HMCC Service Dog program

Niveka Rose, called Nika, was donated to the HMCC Service Dog training program by a local breeder. Nika is a Kuvasz, a Hungarian shepherd dog, came to the prison program at age 7 !/2 weeks and is in her first month of training. “She’s just getting used to the vest,” said inmate trainer Erica Perry. “She now learning her basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’ She’s also learning to take socks off and ‘stay’ when the door is left open.” Nika will be in training for up to two years.


Inmate trainer Erica Perry with service dog trainee Niveka Rose


SHA REN, a chow mix, arrived at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in January, 2009, age six weeks. She was a stray in the Mat-Su Valley, rescued during a cold snap and brought to the animal shelter, and then to Hiland Mountain for the cell dog “SPOT” program. At first, Sha Ren did not seem to be a suitable candidate for service training, however at age nine months small but key changes were noticed in her demeanor – mainly an ability to retrieve.

With that willingness, Sha Ren’s inmate trainer to put her through some extra paces, and then she mastered “return and paws” (which means the dog brings objects to its owner at a raised height). Sha Ren learned to pick up keys, return a remote control and other objects, including her own leash. Sha Ren can now open doors for her owner, carry a wide range of objects from paper to metal to plastic without damaging the object. Recently she carried a one pound can of cocoa in a paper bag for ¼ mile without stopping.

Sha Ren is able to assist her new owner including wearing a pack while they are out in the community. She has become adept at staying away from doors and other people’s feet without pulling the owner while all the time maintaining a heel. Sha Ren is task-oriented and excels at companionship and loyalty to her human owner.


Sha-Ren, master of ‘return and paws.’