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.



Cupcake is the cool chick everyone wants to be friends with. She’s mellow and meshes with just about everyone. But she also loves doing her own thing.

Cupcake is from Mt Vernon Animal Shelter and will be going to DCSPCA after graduation.


Goose has big dreams of being a service dog! He wants it more than he wants treats! But he has some more schooling he needs to complete before we accept him into the program. He’s a lover of all things – dogs, cats, people – you name it, he wants to be friends!

Goose is from Chicago Animal Care and Control.


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.


Hello! Pretzel would like to speak to you about the very important activity of nose booping! If you are a dog, he would also like to boop your nose!

Pretzel is from Dekalb County Animal Services and will be available for adoption at 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.

Send These Pups Some Fun


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