Dog with inmate trainers

The idea of teaching inmates to train dogs was pioneered by Sister Pauline Quinn over 30 years ago. The first program started in Washington State, and Quinn’s concept spread to more than 200 facilities across the country. Everyone involved has benefited, and the process has helped transform inmates into responsible community members.

We built upon these successes and, in 2007, launched one of the nation’s first juvenile ward programs at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility. The program at OC Probation started in 2009 and was the first in the state of California involving juvenile ward trainers. Our program at James A. Musick Facility has been active since 2013. We began using the Cell Dogs name in 2014, and our nonprofit was officially named Cell Dogs, Inc. in 2017. Our sole focus is running shelter dog training programs.