Southfield (CW50) – Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan partners with regional animal shelters and Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan to help dogs reach their maximum potential and find loving forever families.

The dogs enter a 10 week program with specially trained inmates who are fully responsible for their daily training and care. The dogs are pre-fostered and pre-adopted by families prior to the program. This way it is known that they will find a loving home immediately upon graduation.

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Approved adoptions of a dog occur prior to training, and the adoptive family will receive their weekly reports until adoption day.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Nikki Wynkoop, Volunteer at Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

Nikki Wynkoop, a Volunteer and Foster Family for Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about the program and how it impacts the lives of both the dogs and inmates.

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What Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan is trying to do is help abandoned, surrendered and homeless animals. This mission works in conjunction with affording security-screened inmates with an opportunity to train the dogs in the program. Both ideas constitute a form of rehabilitation for both dog and inmate to reenter society as productive members. 

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan Dog Training Correctional Facility Program

Throughout the 10 weeks, the dogs are housed with the inmates in their barracks-style quarters, and every two inmates are responsible for the care of one dog. These inmates come to love taking care of the dogs, with most participating in the program multiple times throughout their sentence. Some returning citizens have even adopted the dog they had taken care of while in the correctional facility.

Learn more about the program at

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Watch Community Connect, Saturday at 7am on CW50.