The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

Animal Farm Foundation, Bangall, NY

Good Cause:

Founded in the 1980s on the belief that all individuals deserve equality, compassion, and justice, Animal Farm Foundation (AFF) brings dogs and people together to end discrimination. AFF creates positive change for dogs, people, and communities through their service dog program, PAWS jail program, and by funding the training of K9 detection dogs. They provide lawmakers and policy makers with the information they need to create non-discriminatory laws and policies. They also work within the legal system to end breed-specific discrimination. AFF works with the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) to improve the lives of dogs and people through the PAWS of Purpose Program at Rikers Island in New York. The program matches eight dogs with two groups of inmates for an 8-week residency at Rikers Correctional Facility. The dogs live with the inmates and receive 24/7 care and attention. A certified professional dog trainer works closely with the PAWS participants who provide the dogs with daily care, companionship, training, and socialization. The dogs learn basic manners and housetraining during their stay at Rikers. After graduating from the program, the dogs go on to become service dogs, detection dogs, or family pets.

Great Results:

We are conducting a mixed method evaluation of PAWS of Purpose. Thus far we have:

  • Developed a conceptual framework to guide the evaluation
  • Reviewed, refined, and finalized research questions
  • Drafted the evaluation plan, including determining the sample, developing data collection methods (surveys, interviews), and creating the analysis plan

We are working with AFF to finalize the evaluation plan. We anticipate collecting data on 10 teams of inmates. For each team, data will be collected from the three key constituents: 1) AFF program providers, 2) Rikers staff, and 3) inmates.

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