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The FIDO Project (Florida Inmates and Dog Obedience)

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Class 19 of the FIDO Project: The Home Run Hounds

Our new class of the FIDO Project has officially begun! We are now accepting applications for the Home Run Hounds, who are currently in-training and living at the Marion Correctional Institution. The dogs will complete their basic obedience in mid-September. 

Due to current public health concerns, our traditional meet and greet events for this class will not be held. Applicants will be able to meet our inmate-trained dogs at Marion County Animal Services on specific days, which will be announced. We expect our first day out of the prison will be in August. 

Home Run dogs

FIDO Project logo

About the FIDO Project

This program is a partnership with Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) for the FIDO Project. A few select inmates of Marion Correctional Institution Work Camp have embarked on a journey with some of our homeless shelter dogs. These men will prepare the dogs by training them in basic obedience and socialization, with a goal of being able to pass the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test, the gold standard for dog behavior.

All dogs involved in this program will be available for adoption, and we hope the new owners will continue to practice the skills that they will have learned at MCI. The men will live with and keep journals for each dog and practice training every day. At the end of the training, the new families attend the graduation event at the prison and meet the trainers, handlers and staff.

How to adopt a FIDO graduate

*Public outing procedures have temporarily changed due to COVID-19.

During each eight-week class, the public will get an opportunity to meet the dogs at two public outings. The outings will be held at local businesses or other venues in which the potential adopters can spend quality time with each dog and decide which one would be best suited for their family. Adoption applications can be submitted at that time, and adoptions can be approved and finalized while they are still being trained at MCI. The dogs will be required to remain in the program to complete their training, and the adopters can take home their new family member upon graduation!

We will post announcements and updates about the program on our MCAS Facebook page, so please, follow us! Feel free to email us with any questions, offers, or ideas.

If you would like to adopt one of our trained FIDO project graduates; apply here!

How YOU can help

Local businesses who would like to host an adoption event for our prison dog program, please email us.Your donations are appreciate to keep this program running! You may drop off donations at Animal Services, hold a collection drive or bring donations to one of our adoption events. You can also search for our wish list on Amazon. We would truly appreciate the following items:

  • FIDO donate buttonZukes mini dog treats, or any other training treats 
  • New durable toys
  • Bully sticks and antler dog chews 
  • Martingale collars (red)
  • Printing or sign companies who are willing to donate any advertising material, such as banners, flyers, decals or t-shirts. We'll supply the graphics. *This is one of our most needed items!
  • Sponsors to support this program/host events, collect donations and help spread the word!
  • Goodies that will be given to adoptive families at graduation ceremony (gift certificates or coupons, t-shirts, leashes, toys, food, treats, books.)
  • Local artists and professional photographers can surely be of value!
  • Monetary donations can be given in person, by mail or online here.
  • Donations can also be made through our Amazon Wish List.
  • We need volunteers to help us at adoption events, transport goods, collect donations, and more! Apply here!

Donations can also be made to Animal Services via mail:
Marion County Animal Services/The FIDO Project
5701 SE 66th St.
Ocala, FL 34480