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AWLQ Pups in Prison program 10-Year Birthday

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) and Numinbah Correctional Centre are celebrating a decade of collaboration that has seen the lives of more than 500 four-legged inmates changed.

“A high number of mother dogs who come into the shelter are medium or larger breeds, often having large litters and mums and litters always require unusually long, two to three month care,” CEO Denise Bradley said. “So we can have a hard time finding them foster carers – that’s where Queensland Corrective Services and Numinbah Correctional Centre stepped in, essentially changing and saving lives.

“Our first mother had seven puppies and it went so well that we followed it up with another two mums and 19 puppies.” Since then, more than 500 mothers and their pups have gone through the program which has multiple benefits for both the dogs and the prisoners.

Numinbah Correctional Centre Liaison Officer Paul Longman was involved in the initiation of the program in September 2006. “The program plays an important role in teaching prisoners about responsibility and compassion, but also in providing them with the opportunity to make reparation to the community,” Mr Longman said.

“Prisoners care for the dogs until a suitable home can be found for them. They feed and groom the dogs and provide one-on-one care to develop social skills. 
Prisoners are responsible for assisting dogs in their recovery from surgery and keeping an eye on their overall health.”

He added the benefits for the dogs were many, including healthy socialised mothers and pups, mothers staying with their pups for the full time they were needed, uninterrupted one-on-one attention, and love.

Pups in Prison program - Photo Credit: Dean Saffron
In 2008 this program was expanded from mothers and pups to dogs which require foster because of domestic violence situations.
“Pups in Prison would accommodate these animals for a month at a time, allowing their human families to get their lives back on track,” Ms Bradley said.

“We would like to again thank Numinbah Correctional Centre, Queensland Corrective Services, our own Michelle Critchley who was instrumental in creating the program with Numinbah and, of course, the prisoners who have taken ownership of the program and filled the lives of these dogs and puppies with love.

Animal Welfare League Queensland very much looks forward to continuing this program, and developing others, into the future.”

Top Photo Credit: Deputy General Manager Numinbah Correctional Centre Julie Steinheuer, Centre Liaison Officer Numinbah Correctional Centre Paul ‘Taffy’ Longman and AWLQ Training and Compliance Officer Michelle Critchley

For more information on the work of AWLQ, please visit

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