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 service dogs, detection dogs, or pet dogs.



With a face like that, Cupcake doesn’t need a bio! She’s too adorable for words! All of the inmates at Rikers have fallen in love with her and she loves them right back! 

Cupcake is available for adoption! Fill out a survey.


Dakota always has an ear perked so she can listen for new friends to meet! She loves people, dogs, and seems to be totally chill with cats.

She is originally from Out of the Pits rescue.

Inspector Gadget

Formerly known as Chavez, Inspector Gadget charmed us all at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference this year. We partnered with Snooty Giggles to have some dogs on site. When we saw how great he was with people, we thought he’d make a good psychiatric service dog.


Falcon was thinking about being a service dog, but decided he would like a career change to be a couch dog!

If you’re carrying a lot of groceries, he might help you open the door! Drop a loaf of bread while you are putting those groceries away? Falcon can pick it up for you! 

Fill out an adoption survey.


Hachi might be a few clowns short of a circus, but boy do we love him! He’s a playful, goofy, and exuberant one year old that we can’t get enough of!

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P.O. Box 624
Bangall, NY 12506