This is not a story about ECGRR, but it does involve Sandi Christy, our vice-president. Sandi is co-coordinator of the Dawgs in Prison program in Gulf County. This program produces highly adoptable dogs and as a bonus, gives prisoners a marketable skill. Enjoy …
Published February 24, 2014, Panama City News Herald
‘Like love at first sight’
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 09:18 AM.
PANAMA CITY — Ricky Mamoran was in search of a companion.
Trenton arrived this month to fit the bill.
Trenton was among the dogs comprising the 31st graduating class of DAWGS in Prison, a program that has over the past four years saved 324 dogs, now living in 17 states, and provided a bit of redemption for 320 inmates at the Gulf Forestry Camp.
“I would recommend that program to anyone,” Mamoran said while talking about Trenton. “It was not a long process at all and very user-friendly.”
Mamoran was not just looking for a dog, but a dog of particular temperament.
An U.S. Army veteran, Mamoran, who lives in Panama City, suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq.
He has dealt with the often debilitating effects that include post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in addition to physical symptoms such as the inability to stand up more than 10 minutes.
“I was seeking a companion dog,” Mamoran said. “That is a step down from a service dog. I did not want a service dog because I don’t think it is fair for the dog to have to work all the time.
“I want him to be with me at all times, but not have to be working.”
Once discharged from the military, doctors suggested Mamoran consider a dog and he was referred to the non-profit organization Pets for Patriots.
The first attempt at adoption progressed to near the point of adoption, however, only to have the facility providing the dog inform Mamoran and his fiancé that they would have to pay $200.
“The whole thing started to sound kind of fishy,” he said.
Referred by Pets for Patriots to the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society, Mamoran was quickly in contact with DAWGS in Prison, which exists through collaboration between the Humane Society, the Florida Department of Corrections and the Gulf County Board of County Commissioners.
“I filed my application on the weekend and it was approved that same day and I got a call from (DAWGS co-coordinator) Sandi Christy on that Monday,” Mamoran said.