RPSM.Org: What it Means to Me – A Series #5

The Blogging Owl has been granted permission from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to promote their new series, “What it Means to Me.”

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

This is the third post in series of reflections from the inmate trainers in their own words on what it meant to them to train a dog rescued by Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

Founded in 2007, RPSM has made a serious effort to effectively aid in the reduction of euthanasia rates at many animal shelters. In 2008, the RPSM Correctional Companion Program began. In a partnership with the Coldwater Prison Complex, RPSM endeavors to find homes for dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs selected for the Companion Program are carefully screened for temperament, trainability, and adaptability. They are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered prior to enrollment in the program. Once they arrive at the complex, they are assigned to specially trained inmates who are responsible for their training and day to day care. Upon completion of the program, the dogs are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and available for adoption in an approved home.


To me, RPSM means being able to make a difference in life.

Being able to make a difference in the lives of animals who have only known the worst of humanity, and what it means to love a dog.

My outlook on rescue dogs has changed because I learned that you can teach an old dog new tricks lol. But being able to go from underdog to wonder dog I think is amazing. I’ve seen dogs go from having no life in their eyes to the beginning of a twinkle, a spark of hope. It’s opened a whole new world to me.

Anything I can do, I want to do to make a difference.

The best success story from when a dog came in and when it left I think would be Daisy the wiener dog. I remember when she first came in, her confidence was very low and she was very apprehensive, but seeing her come out of her shell was a job. And learning new things from the work put in was a fun experience. She taught me how to use my voice (Good Girl, Great Job).

A dog that has changed me or meant a lot to me, I want to say Reuben, but if it wasn’t for the things I learned from Levi and Daisy, I don’t think it would have been possible to have had any success stories to tell. Levi changed my understanding. It made me consider what dogs want, and not what I think they want. He made me dig deeper into learning how they think and coming up with ways to help them. He also made me dig deeper into myself and the energy I produce, and how contagious it can be. Levi gave me the drive and motivation to push further.

Written by Prison Inmate Dog Trainer

How you can donate to RPSM.org

Amazon Wishlist


Press the link above and to see what you can donate today to Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile & choose Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan as Your Charity!

“AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.”

Andy’s Paw Prints



Andy’s Paw Prints creates custom pet portraits from your pet photos and donates 25% of their profit from every portrait sale to help animals in need. Make sure when you order to select Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan on your order form to receive the donation. You can check out all their styles and get more information at http://www.andyspawprints.


Go to the Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to foster, adopt, and donate!

I was introduced to RPSM.org five years ago when my family adopted Barkley LeRoy and Penelope Louise, “Penny.” My experience was chronicled in my blog post, Writing Their Stories, on March 23, 2016.

The Blogging Owl

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