The journey began with a couple of deputies pitching the idea to Sheriff Roger Soldan, to team up with service dogs trained by inmates in Florida – and now Jax and Piper are here to help.
Back in December of 2022, two Saline County Sheriff’s Deputies traveled to the Brevard County Florida Sheriff’s Office ‘Paws and Stripes College’ to attend a week of training in handling of a Law Enforcement Investigative Therapy Dog. They trained with their new K-9 partners who had just completed 14 weeks of training to become a Nationally Registered Therapy Dog Team.
The unique program offered by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office uses rescued dogs that are trained by inmates under the supervision of professional trainers to provide trained therapy dogs at no cost.
The dog teams can provide assistance in a number of ways, for example: calming people in crisis,interviews with children and adults, critical incident debriefings and other public events.
The Paws & Stripes program started back in 2006 as a basic dog obedience program to help save the lives of dogs in our Brevard County Animal Shelter. Carefully selected and trained Jail inmates were paired with shelter dogs who train the dogs in both voice commands and hand signals. The dogs were housebroken, and learned basic obedience skills to include, heel, sit, down, stay, and come, all with the anticipation of getting the dog adopted.
Selected canine graduates of the original 8 week course can then move into the advanced training program to serve with law enforcement.
Deputy Tyler Casteel and his K-9 ‘Jax’, are assigned to USD 307 working at the Ell-Saline Schools.
Jax is a Alaskan Malamute mix.
Deputy Braden Long and his K-9 ‘Piper’ are assigned to USD 306 working at Southeast of Saline School.
Piper is a Basenji/Border Collie mix.