PAWS of Purpose

Animal Farm Foundation and the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) work together to make a positive impact in the lives of dogs and people through the PAWS of Purpose Program at Rikers Island.

We match 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 to 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 assistance dogs, detection dogs, or pet dogs.



Goof, meet ball! Cyrus is a young pup who REALLY wants you to boop his nose. He’s excited to be at Rikers where he’ll learn how to be the best boy with the best manners!

Cyrus originally came from Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society in Kentucky. Once he graduates, he will go to the Dutchess County SPCA in New York.


The only thing bigger than 10-month old Veda’s ears is her energy. She would like you to kiss her nose, but not before she kisses yours! We’re guessing she’ll grow into her ears, but we secretly hope she won’t because omg so cute!

Veda is from Hall County Animal Shelter and will go the DCSPCA when she graduates.

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Ally has a really simple philosophy: There’s no reason to get out of bed – ever. You’ve got your toys, you’ve got your audiobook subscription. You’re good. We can’t really argue.

Ally’s from Hall County Animal Shelter in Georgia and she’ll be going to DCSPCA after graduation.


Little boy Blu is a friendly pup who we’re still getting to know. He’s deaf but doesn’t let that slow him down.

Blu is originally from Out of the Pits rescue and he’ll return there after graduation while he waits for his new family.

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