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There is Justice at Work!

Yesterday Jen met a dog named Justice.

Hi Justice!

Hi Justice!

Justice is a therapy dog that works at the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center. He is a Lab/Great Dane mix that was rescued from Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida, trained by Miami Dog Whisperer Richard Heinz, and certified as a Pet Therapy Dog and Canine Good Citizen.

Maybe you’re asking why there’s a therapy dog at a detention center. After all, these kids are criminals!

Truth is that most of these children have experienced a great deal of trauma in their short lives, and Justice is exactly what they need.

petting a dog is great therapy!

petting a dog is great therapy!

Justice is good at his job, too. In that room filled with professionals, I don’t think one missed getting licks by Justice. Yes, he licks! I know many therapy dogs are trained not to do that, but Justice is encouraged to give kisses.

Center Superintendent Daryl Wolf said that in the six months since Justice has been on the job, incidents have decreased by over half. When a child becomes agitated, staff ask the child if he or she would like time with Justice.

The detention center is aware that not everyone likes dogs. During intake they let children and their families know a therapy dog is used. Children are screened for allergies. No child is forced to interact with Justice, and he is never brought on the scene if there’s a situation requiring intervention.


Everybody loved meeting Justice, and Justice loved meeting everybody!

Justice has been so good at his job, FL Dept of Juvenile Justice is planning to eventually have a dog at each of its detention centers.

Hooray for Justice!

About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


53 thoughts on “There is Justice at Work!

  1. We have seen dogs going into detention centers on the telly, some kids actually change as they get them to look after the dogs. We think it’s wonderful, Wayhay for Justice 🙂 xx00xx It’s Furiday Rumpy.. Cookie time..BOL xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

    Posted by mollieandalfie | August 30, 2013, 5:04 AM
  2. Brilliant boy …we have similar programs here and they really have a great beneficial effect ..mainly on adult offenders here..but they learn to love and to be less selfish,they finally have something that loves them without any prejudice and gives them a sense of belonging..he is beautiful and what a great post!

    Posted by fozziemum | August 30, 2013, 5:07 AM
    • There are programs where where incarcerated individuals train dogs, but therapy dogs used inside is not common here…. yet.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 30, 2013, 5:10 AM
      • Same here training dogs and I am sure therapy dogs will take off where you are…the benefits are great. When you think that most offenders have not had animal companionship and have lost the ability to care,to have them learn from the dogs and then become more caring is a win win in every way!

        Posted by fozziemum | August 30, 2013, 5:14 AM
      • The superintendent said for some of her residents, their only interactions with dogs has been negative so they learn about the love dogs give too.

        Posted by rumpydog | August 30, 2013, 6:29 AM
      • That’s right and I makes for life long perceptions of dogs!

        Posted by fozziemum | August 30, 2013, 6:57 AM
  3. Justice does an amazing and essential work. Bravo !

    Posted by Chabichou Malabar du Roupillon | August 30, 2013, 5:45 AM
  4. It is good to hear of an institution so enlightened as to employ Justice. All the more so, in Florida. The state is not exactly exemplary in its treatment of inmates – even juvenile ones. I’m sure this story brings a tear of joy to the eyes of the former White House Boys. Props to Justice for being so good at what he does, props to Florida for her brush with compassion and props to you, Rumpy, for bringing us this great bit of news.

    Posted by bitcodavid | August 30, 2013, 6:36 AM
  5. Dogs like to work and they usually do a good job at what they do!

    Posted by Russell Smith | August 30, 2013, 6:40 AM
  6. Justice is a very cool woofie! Thanks for sharing.

    The Florida Furkids

    Posted by The Florida Furkids | August 30, 2013, 6:56 AM
  7. Great story. It is amazing how beneficial animals are to humans.

    Posted by Charles Huss | August 30, 2013, 7:01 AM
  8. I love this. I want to get my dog into training to be a therapy dog.

    Posted by batpoopcrazy | August 30, 2013, 8:13 AM
  9. How wonderful this Justice Dog is!!! One of the best things that dogs can is to heal things that humans can’t!
    Our innocent face and loyalty help those children who need a change! Hooray Justice!!! 🙂

    Posted by eripanwkevin | August 30, 2013, 10:10 AM
  10. Love it 🙂 Have a good weekend xxx

    Posted by mythreemoggies | August 30, 2013, 10:45 AM
  11. How cool! Good job Justice 🙂

    Posted by Bluejellybeans | August 30, 2013, 10:57 AM
  12. Great job! We need more Justice in this world. 🙂

    Posted by ILoveDogs | August 30, 2013, 11:25 AM
  13. what a great pup!xx Speedy

    Posted by speedyrabbit | August 30, 2013, 12:00 PM
  14. That’s so true about trauma. We pooches help so many people don’t we? And, hey, Justice is a big version of me! A white chest and a white foot! Sweet.

    AroOO, Stuart

    Posted by The Scottie Chronicles | August 30, 2013, 12:16 PM
  15. THAT is just AMAZING and WONDERFUL….. good fur JUSTICE!!!

    Posted by Frankie and Ernie | August 30, 2013, 12:59 PM
  16. What a great story! Dogs almost always have a calming effect on people.

    Posted by Alejandro De La Garza | August 30, 2013, 1:05 PM
  17. Brilliant, I think that Dogs help bring calm and bring a bridge for affection, Affection and love is often what is lacking in many of these children’s lives as they took to a life of crime Thank you for the share 🙂 xxx

    Posted by Sue Dreamwalker | August 30, 2013, 2:58 PM
  18. Yay for Justice! When I work at the VA, I’m pretty sure I am not as well behaved as Justice. He is doing very good work.

    Love and licks,

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | August 30, 2013, 3:11 PM
  19. Dogs just put people in a calmer frame of mind. They exude love and acceptance and these juveniles are given something they may never have had before.

    Posted by BJ Pup | August 30, 2013, 3:53 PM
  20. Hooray indeed! I so enjoy reading these kinds of stories. Dogs give give give so much of themselves, and it’s lovely to read that Justice’s love and warmth are being shared with these love-deprived adolescents.

    Posted by roughwighting | August 30, 2013, 4:37 PM
  21. What a wonderful story. We need more Justices.

    Posted by dogdaz | August 30, 2013, 6:37 PM
  22. That’s fantastic! Justice does wonderful and amazing work!

    Posted by meowmeowmans | August 30, 2013, 7:05 PM
  23. Justice is a wonderful example of how humans and animals can interact in a positive way – and the meeting could change that human’s life for the better. Inmates have also been used to train dogs. It is an excellent way to reach someone and to have them feel that they have made a valuable contribution in life.

    Posted by earthriderjudyberman | August 31, 2013, 11:15 AM
  24. Now that is brilliant, in Mom’s humble opinion. Mom volunteered in her early 30’s at a juvi hall in Santa Cruz CA…she worked in their unit where the kids also attended school, each had their own ‘cell’…they were kids the staff thought had a good chance at total rehabilitation if not exposed to the general population. Mom spent about 6 hours a week just hanging out, learned to play pool from the kids, played cards, talked…and eventually the staff would let Mom and Dad take one home on a 4 hour pass and they would take them bike riding, play tennis, racket ball, swimming, etc then have dinner then take them back. Mom decided she didn’t want to be a juvenile probation officer but she and Dad enjoyed trying to make a difference in the teenagers’ lives. paw pats, Savannah and Mom Linda

    Posted by Savannah's Paw Tracks | August 31, 2013, 1:21 PM
    • Jen worked in a juvenile correctional facility for 4 years. She’s also worked in adult prisons. The juveniles were some of the meanest kids you’d ever want to meet, and they were also suffering from deep hurts. Can’t be a coincidence, can it?

      BTW, in the 4 years she worked there, she was injured only once, and even then it wasn’t serious.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 31, 2013, 1:25 PM
  25. What a wonderful story! I sure hope that the juvenile justice system here in California follows in Florida’s footsteps ASAP!!

    Posted by Jessica | August 31, 2013, 1:36 PM
  26. Great job Justice!! Your Big Dog Ranch Rescue family is so proud of you!!!! Wo0F!

    Posted by meg weinberger | August 31, 2013, 2:48 PM
  27. Four paws up here! Dogs and cats can be great helping to rehabilitate and we are not discriminatory either!

    Posted by Austin Towers | August 31, 2013, 4:06 PM
  28. Animals can bring big changes into peoples lives. The same way animal lovers like myself ask for a second chance for animals, the same should be given to humans. We tend to choose to see only one side of the coin, judging the situation. The fact is criminals have sad, traumatized lives, many with no opportunities in life. With all that leading them into a hate trip. So, to help them through love which is all a dog can be, is the best chance you can give them to change. Like the dogs in prison, a wonderful project not only saving dogs lives, but too the prisoners themselves. I know that this does not mean they will change but, it is a chance given to them or an experience that could prove to change their lives down the line, you never know. Awesome Justice!!!!

    Posted by buffybuffers | September 1, 2013, 7:28 AM
  29. What a lovely dog! I hope this means the focus for young offenders is shifting to help and rehabilitation.

    Posted by Clowie | September 2, 2013, 9:14 AM


  1. Pingback: Friends for the Friendless | deafinprison - January 19, 2014

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