Community Involvement, Dog News

CMC New Life K‑9 Program goes on parade

Puppies and volunteers on a parade float for the New Life K-9 Program.
New Life K-9 volunteers put the CMC pups front and center for all to see during the 46th Annual Downtown SLO Holiday Parade on Dec. 2.

The California Men’s Colony (CMC) New Life K-9 Program brought in the holiday season by participating in the 46th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade in San Luis Obispo.

The Dec. 2 parade featured a float handcrafted by incarcerated program participants.

The “Retro Rock” themed float paid homage to music legends Elvis Presley, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Chuck Berry along with cartoon legends such as the Grinch, Woodstock, and Snoopy.

Musical notes could be seen streaming from the old-fashioned jukebox located near the front of the float while smiling New Life volunteers and well-behaved black Labrador retriever puppies sat beneath the musical score.

For eight years, New Life K-9 has partnered with CMC, providing trained service dogs, free of charge, to veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

During the week, the dogs live with their incarcerated trainers, receiving daily instruction and training from their caretakers. On weekends, many of the dogs leave the institution to go home with “puppy parents” who help the dogs-in-training adapt to sights, smells and sounds that do not exist in an institutional setting.

Submitted by Lt. John Hill

Learn more about CDCR’s K-9 programs.

Follow CDCR on YouTubeFacebook and Twitter.