Dog News

How Going to Prison Resulted in Forever Home for Puppy Mill Escapee


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FinnFinn (formerly known as Fred or Sir Frederick) has come a long way since his early days in a puppy mill. The 6 year old white and apricot colored Poodle escaped from the puppy mill with his daughter and eventually ended up at North Beach PAWS, a no-kill rescue organization in Ocean Shores, Washington.

When he arrived, Finn was in need of neutering, shots and quite a bit of work on his teeth, but he had a great attitude through it all.

Finn and his daughter then took part in the innovative Stafford Creek Freedom Tails program. Stafford Creek Corrections Center is a men’s prison located in Aberdeen, Washington. The corrections center began the Freedom Tails program in 2009 and work hand-in-hand with NB PAWS.

The program brings in their dogs, along with area shelter dogs that might otherwise be euthanized.  The dogs are taught the basics in training – both by voice and hand commands – housetrained, socialized, given all shots needed, have health issues addressed, and neutered or spayed.  The dogs are then available for the general population to adopt.  There have been new forever families who have even traveled from Canada and CA to get their new furry family member!

Finn went through his training with flying colors!  He loved sitting in people’s laps and adored affection – his Kong became his favorite toy!

Finn 3
Finn with Handler

Finn was then adopted by a loving family, joining another poodle in the mix.  As per one of their emails to NB PAWS:

He is the most WONDERFUL dog…I take him to every class with me. The students love him to death; he gets a ton of massages & pets & love. He sleeps quietly while I teach classes and the minute class is over, he gets up to socialize with everyone. He loves all people & dogs.

He is crazy smart. I taught him to sit on the couch while I eat & in only three days he got it. Now he gets on the couch when he even sees me cooking. He wants to please & is full of love. He has the funniest rapid tail wag, and every time he sees someone, his tail goes full speed.

Recently, one of my students lost her beloved standard poodle suddenly and when she came to class, Finn went right over to her and sat in her lap. This made her so happy.  Honestly, I’ve never had a dog like this: so relational, so smart, so sweet, so playful.  He is a total joy…I think he is a once in a lifetime dog.  It’s hard to believe he was in a puppy mill, stuck in a crate. He has such great energy, and his spirit is so loving & positive. I guess it just speaks to the power of resilience.” 

Freedom Tails has had many stories with sad beginnings yet SO many with very happy endings.  At this time, the program has found forever loving homes for over 200 dogs!  As program assistant Karen Diehm states,

 “The Freedom Tails program is a trifecta. The trainers discover the true meaning of responsibility and caring—some, for the first time in their lives; a loving family gains a new forever family member; and most important, a wonderful dog is saved from being euthanized. Win, Win, Win!”


North Beach Paws is a non-profit rescue organization committed to saving the lives of homeless or unwanted domestic animals in the North Beach area by providing foster or shelter facility care and seeking permanent adoptive homes for these animals.

They also promote spaying and neutering of dogs and cats in order to assist in reducing the astronomical overpopulation of these animals, which results in needless euthanasia. They are also dedicated to educating the community in order to promote responsible guardianship and to seeking legal protection and justice for animals that are the victims of cruelty and/or neglect.

Finn 4For more information, contacts, and links to interviews and all past newsletters, please see the NBPAWS website