Dogs to help Ariz. veteran inmates in new program

Interaction with dogs may help reduce stress and PTSD, sheriff says

By C1 Staff

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is implementing a new program for veteran inmates to spend time with dogs every Wednesday.

The Maricopa Animal Safe Haven is working with MCSO to allow veteran inmates to interact with the dogs in an effort to help reduce stress at First Avenue Jail. 

Veteran inmates with a MASH dog. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Image)
Veteran inmates with a MASH dog. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Image)

Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio told KTAR that the dogs from MASH help rehabilitate veterans and address issues like PTSD.

“Dogs are a man’s best friend, said Arpaio. “Many vets worked with dogs in foreign countries and just want to connect with dogs again.”

MCSO told ABC15 that studies show animal companionship can help inmates, especially former veterans with stress. The animals at MASH, who were formerly abused or neglected, also benefit from the interaction. 

“We owe the veteran a special debt of gratitude, even after their issues with the law,” said Arpaio. 

The MASH canines will be looked after by the department while they await adoption. 

“It’s the right thing to do,” said Arpaio. “ We can’t forget our military veterans. Maybe the animals will help them out and I’m sure the animals will be happy too.”

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