PAWS of Purpose:

Lessons in Life Skills for dogs and humans

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 in New York.

about the program

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.



This spunky head-tilt aficianado has his sights set on a badge! That’s right, he’s all about being a K9. He has everything going for him, loves people, games, and dogs! But we need to get to know him a bit more first before we send him off to K9 college.

Clay is from DCSPCA.


Turbo has something he wants you to know: He loves you! He loves dogs! He loves people! He loves training sessions! – But let’s be real, training sessions come with treats and what’s not to love about that!?

Turbo is from Mt Vernon Animal Shelter.


Charlotte is a one year old wiggle factory! She is queen of the play yard and playing with her friends is her favorite thing – second only to getting pets from people. We’re keeping an eye on her for the service dog program, but we’re still getting to know her.

Charlotte is from Atlanta.


Everything you need to know about Squash is in this picture. You’ve got hugs? He want ’em.  He don’t have hugs? He’ll give ’em to you! He does love fellow puppers of all sizes in addition to his love of hugs from humans. 


At two years old, Jasmine thinks she is the bees knees. We can’t blame her because, Hello!? Have you seen that smile? Her healthy self-image doesn’t get in the way of her love for her friends. She always wants to hang out and play with her dog friends.  

Send These Pups Some Fun

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P.O. Box 624
Bangall, NY 12506