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Prison Pet Partnership co-founder Sister Pauline Quinn walks with a golden retriever dog in a chapel and sits in a chair for a photograph with a golden retriever dog.
Sister Pauline Quinn

Sister Pauline Quinn

1942 - 2020

Prison Pet Partnership (PPP), operating within the Washington State criminal justice system, has been a model for the nation in the rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals.

  • It began in 1981 as the result of a collaborative effort between Sister Pauline Quinn, a Dominican Nun, and Dr. Leo Bustad, former chair of Washington State University’s veterinary program, who believed that rehabilitation could be facilitated by the human-animal bond. Sister Pauline and Dr. Bustad worked cooperatively with Washington State University, Tacoma Community College, and the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) to create innovative programming for the individuals residing at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). Prison Pet Partnership is the catalyst for all other prison pet programs around the globe. 

  • In 1984, Prison Pet Partnership began offering programming to incarcerated individuals at WCCW.

  • In 1986, Prison Pet Partnership was one of the top ten finalists for Innovations in State and Local Government recognized by the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Business at Harvard University.

  • In 1990, Prison Pet Partnership was registered as a 501c(3) non-profit organization.

  • Jeanne Hampl was hired as the first Executive Director of PPP in 1994. Her office was a cell unit in the Medium Security Unit building. Jeanne served on PPP's board of directors from 1991 to 1994 and then again in 1998 to 1999.

  • In 1996, PPP's onsite kennels and training center were constructed.

  • In 1997, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf came to Prison Pet Partnership to host “What’s Right in America” for NBC. He felt that our program exemplified how the prison system can aid in the rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals while serving the community at large.

  • Executive Director, Jeanne Hampl, retired in 1998. Under her leadership, PPP placed over 32 service dogs and countless paroled pets. To this day, she is renowned for her assistance and expansion of PPP programming.

  • Beth Rivard was hired as executive director in 1998.

  • In 2016, PPP expanded the service dog training program by accepting purpose-bred puppies for service training. This would help the program certify service dogs at a higher rate and permit PPP to continue rescuing animals in shelters to train as family pets rather than for service work. 

  • In March of 2020, Prison Pet Partnership closed all programming due to the impact of COVID-19. Boarding, grooming, and training services were suspended and all program dogs were placed with dedicated fosters. PPP continued to provide program participants education as well as supported service teams and fosters. 

  • Executive Director, Beth Rivard, retired in 2020. Under her leadership, dozens of service dogs and paroled pets were trained and placed and thousands of hours of vocational education, job readiness training, mentorship, and opportunities for personal healing and development were provided to program participants.

  • Sister Pauline Quinn passed away March 13, 2020. Sister Pauline discovered the healing power of dogs through the unconditional love she shared with her first dog after experiencing a traumatic childhood and homelessness as a young adult. The connection with Joni, her German Shepherd, changed Sister Pauline’s trajectory for the remainder of her life, as she learned to believe in herself and to trust others. PPP will miss her frequent visits. She was always so proud of the women and our work. Her program (and those modeled from it) continue to operate around the world. She is a legend and revered by everyone who had the pleasure of
    meeting her.  


  • In January of 2022, boarding and grooming services reopened to the community after being closed for nearly two years.

  • Service dog training and board and train services reopened in April of 2023.

Today, Prison Pet Partnership provides incarcerated individuals opportunity to earn certification as Pet Care Technicians, Groomers, Dog Trainers, and diplomas as Veterinary Assistants. Since its inception, the program has placed over 700 dogs in the Pacific Northwest as Service, Facility, Therapy Dogs, and with families as Paroled Pets. Currently, PPP supports 15 service dog teams and over 500 community pets access boarding and grooming services. The recidivism rate for program participants is less than 3% compared to Washington State's rate of 22.2%.

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