About Second Chances
The Second Chances Program is a partnership between Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) and Wisconsin's Department of Corrections, Thompson Correctional Center (TCC). The program began in 2009 with the goal of helping DCHS shelter dogs increase their adoptability by learning basic canine manners.
Inmates at TCC are screened to ensure they are a good fit for the program and are evaluated throughout the program by the Second Chances trainer. Canine candidates are selected at the shelter and then are paired up with a TCC handler. For the next twelve weeks, the dogs live with their handler, and together they attend weekly training classes at TCC with a DCHS trainer. The handlers are responsible for the care and training of their dogs throughout the week and in addition, for the completion of homework and reading assignments which teach positive reinforcement training techniques.
At the end of the training period, the dogs are evaluated at the shelter to assess their progress, and to determine their ideal forever home environment. The program concludes with graduation day, when the participants come to the shelter to celebrate their success. The canines and handlers receive certificates of achievement, and after the ceremony, the lucky dogs are on their way to their new home! Graduation day is an opportunity for the canine handlers to meet the dog's adopter(s), and to share their experiences and stories of living with and training the dogs.
This program benefits not only the animals involved, but also provides the correctional system participants the opportunity to give back to the community by helping dogs in need. They also find personal growth by developing and refining qualities required by a compassionate and effective dog trainer. Please consider supporting this wonderful program by adopting a Second Chances dog or by donating to the Second Chances Fund.
How to Adopt
To adopt a Second Chances dog, you must complete a questionnaire regarding the type of dog you are looking for, be available to meet the dog on a Preview Day, as well as attend the graduation ceremony, after which your new dog will go home with you! The fee for a Second Chances Program dog is $275.
Contact for questions regarding the Second Chances Program:
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