Retrieving Freedom comes to I.M.C.C.
A New Dog-Focused Program Begins at I.M.C.C.
This article was written by a currently-incarcerated individual at IMCC. Their name is being withheld out of respect for crime victims.
The dog program at Iowa Medical Classification Center (I.M.C.C.) continues to grow in positive directions. In addition to the Therapy Dog Program, the Partnership with the Iowa City Animal Control and Adoption Center, and the Community Service projects.
Retrieving Freedom Inc.(R.F.I) who provides Service Dogs for Veterans and Autistic children, will soon be using men here to help train their dogs. The average commitment for each of these dogs is eighteen to twenty-four months, and about $28,000
Retrieving Freedom is a non-profit organization that is committed to providing, training and placing the highest quality service dogs to disabled veterans and children with autism.
R.F.I. currently has two locations: Waverly Iowa and Olive Branch, Mississippi. They have already partnered with the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility to launch their Prison Puppy Program.
On 2-11-18 Kyle Cory-Yaeggi, the training and placement coordinator, visited I.M.C.C. for a question-and-answer session with the men here who have shown an interest in becoming trained "foster puppy raisers" for R.F.I.
Kyle brought with him Chad Jonson and his Serves Dog, Bender. Bender quickly stole the show with his combination of Service Dog loyalty and assistance, combined with a companion dog style of playfulness.
Chad is in the unique position of being a veteran recipient of a service dog from R.F.I and being on staff as a certified dog trainer for R.F.I. Together they put on quite the show enabling the men here to see the bond between a service dog and his handler. It was very interesting to see the finished product in this five-and-a-half year old Lab and his companion trainer.
Many of the men here have expressed interest in the training and hard work that the first year and a half of a puppy's journey will take to becoming a life changer for someone. They look forward to doing their part to help provide such a great and needed service. Possibly not truly understanding that the first life the puppy may change could be their own.