Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society Executive Director Sean Hawkins announced an agreement today (May 30, 2018) creating the first inmate dog training and cat socialization program to follow the opening of the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail project. A site visit with the Pawsitive Change inmate dog training programat the California City Correctional Center prison in California City, California yesterday helped to conceptualize the details for launching the inmate training programs at the Northern Branch Jail. There will be an interview and photo opportunity on Friday, June 1, 2018 from 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm with Sheriff Brown, animal shelter officials, and trained shelter dogs at the Edwin & Jeanne Woods Animal Care Complex, 1687 West Stowell Road, Santa Maria, CA 93458.
“The animal shelter approached the Sheriff’s Office in January, 2018 about the possibility of creating a partnership with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Northern Branch Jail project,” said Sheriff Bill Brown. “We toured the Humane Society’s state-of-the-art facilities, which are less than 2 miles from the site of the new Northern Branch Jail, and met with its Executive Director, Sean Hawkins, and the Animal Training and Behavior Manager, Jody Epstein, MS, CPDT-KA to learn about the shelter’s need to expand its dog and cat training programs. I believe that, not only do dogs and cats provide stress relief for inmates, but creating an avenue to learn a skill like dog training or an