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.



Stop what you are doing and let us talk to you about tripod Tripp. We had trouble with his photoshoot because he’s a wiggler! Can we talk about his underbite? Because oh-em-gee. Tripp is easy going and always happy to meet new people.

Fill out an adoption survey.

Chandler Bing

Chandler is the kind of boy who will be 🎶there for you when the rain starts to fall 🎶

Named Chandler Bing for his silly personality, we’re hoping this pup will enter our service dog program.


Petit Fiona loves you, your friends, your friends friends, and probably their friends, too. She also loves their dogs. And if they like spunky girls, they’ll love her! But don’t judge a dog by her bounces, Fiona is happy to take up a prime spot on your lap for some snuggles.

Fill out an adoption survey.


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.


At two years old, this ball of mush wants to give you the biggest hug ever. He’s always down for an ear rub. He has a little trouble with the concept of “fetch,” but he’s always up for playing with you!

Fill out an adoption survey.

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P.O. Box 624
Bangall, NY 12506