Missouri Puppies for Parole program reaches milestone with 7,000th adoption


Program allows selected offenders to train rescue dogs and prepare them for adoption

Royal Canin US, a division of Mars, Incorporated, has shared that the 7,000th dog has been adopted via the Missouri Puppies for Parole program. Since its initiation, Royal Canin has served as the nutrition and education sponsor of the program.

Photo courtesy of Royal Canin US.

Photo courtesy of Royal Canin US.

According to a company release,1 this 10-week program enables selected offenders the chance to train rescue dogs to prepare them for adoption and achieve a certificate in animal handling. The canines learn basic obedience skills and are socialized then when done with the program, they are put up for adoption in their original shelters. Missouri Puppies for Parole is currently active in 16 prisons throughout the state.

The program was founded in 2010 following a partnership between the Missouri Department of Corrections and a statewide network of rescue organizations and shelters. Royal Canin started supporting the cause after Royal Canin associate Michael Newkirk had the idea to donate a product that wasn’t expired, but wouldn’t be making it to the supply chain, to nourish dogs in the Missouri Puppies for Parole program.1 Since then, Puppies for Parole is now deemed one of the largest, most successful prison dog programs in the US and thousands of dogs have graduated and been adopted.2

"We are grateful and proud of Royal Canin's investment in Puppies for Parole since the program's start," said Jennifer Liebi, Puppies for Parole coordinator.1 "Their contributions allow us to set our dogs up for nutritional success and support the bonds that form between the dogs, their trainers and eventual adopted homes."

The Missouri Puppies for Parole program is supported exclusively by donations and volunteers. While most adopted dogs become family pets, others obtain advanced training and become service and comfort animals for children with disabilities or veterans with PTSD.

"The Missouri Puppies for Parole program is a true testament of Mars Petcare's purpose of making 'a better world for pets,'" expressed Daryn Brown, president, Royal Canin North America, in the release. "It has been an honor to be a part of this program, and we owe a great deal of thanks to the Missouri offenders who have helped 7,000 dogs find their forever homes."


  1. Royal Canin celebrates 7,000th adoption from Missouri Puppies for parole program. News release. Royal Canin. September 19, 2023. Accessed September 19, 2023. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/royal-canin-celebrates-7-000th-adoption-from-missouri-puppies-for-parole-program-301931754.html
  2. Puppies for Parole. Missouri Department of Corrections. Accessed September 19, 2023. https://doc.mo.gov/programs/puppies-parole
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