Pups and Teen Inmates Alike Benefit From New Rikers Program That Brings Shelter Dogs to the Island

Puppies bring belly rubs to Rikers Island.

Proving once again that dog is man’s best friend, a partnership between New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex and the city’s Animal Care and Control organization provides healing to both dog and man. The special foster program, which allows teen offenders ages 16—17 to care for and train shelter dogs while the dogs await adoption on the outside, teaches the young men responsibility, discipline, affection as well as providing them with much needed love and affection. The foster pups, in turn, get a stable place to call home with grateful and loving caretakers.

Image by Wiki Commons user Computerjoe

The pups are screened and rotated through the program, with new canine participants swapping in when others are adopted. According to The Dodo, Animal Care and Control chooses dogs who they believe would thrive in a bustling, noisy environment. The shelter then readies the pups by playing recordings of gates opening and closing and other “prison noises” ahead of their move.

Teens who would like to be caretakers are also vetted. The application process mirrors a job or school application, with inmates submitting references and going through a series of interviews before being chosen.

Pups and teens attend obedience classes together. Additionally, fellow housing unit members are expected to assist in the grooming and walking of the “house dog.”

The initiative is an excellent example of symbiotic therapy, and is definitely not without precedent. Inmate and at-risk youth dog fostering programs have existed for years now, and are proven to bring comfort to all involved, furry or not.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading