Magic City K9 works with Everglades Re Entry and Everglades Correctional Institute to provide our Miami and South Florida community with trained dogs.
Dogs graduating from this program will fill many roles, from wonderfully trained family pets to sophisticated assistance dogs. Our program is versatile and unmatched!
The most unique aspect of our program is that we save dogs, both pure bred and mixed breed, from shelters across South Florida. We target dogs over 50lbs who have been stuck in the shelter without any interest.
Each dog is hand selected and temperament tested. Our program is truly the last chance for many of the dogs that gain admission.
We believe that everyone deserves a second chance. From the inmates who are selected to work with our dogs to the dogs themselves, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish when we put our time, energy and resources into TRYING.
Most of our dogs are selected from Miami Dade Animal Services, Miami Dade Counties open in-take, municipal shelter. Despite the the shelters “no kill” designation (which means that they have a save rate over 90% annually), there are still many dogs who will never make it out of the shelter simply because there are not enough homes for all of them.
We have a serious over-pet population program in Miami Dade County, and our program feels strongly about doing its little part in being a part of the solution. Each dog we select from the shelter is evaluated by a certified dog behavior consultant. Magic City K9 is the last chance for many of the dogs who come into our program.
Due to the nature of our program and contract with Florida Department of Corrections we can only accept healthy animals with no known behavior issues. We target dogs who are 3 years and under, with the ultimate goal of selecting only the best to-be family companions from the shelter population.
The training each dog receives covers a wide range of behaviors. First, the program is an intensive socialization program. The dogs learn to be around and greet many different types of people and dogs. As you can imagine, since the dogs “home” is a men’s correctional institute, the dogs get a lot of exposure to men!
This is great since many dogs may have fears of men entering the prison. They certainly don’t when they leave! Our first goal with all the dogs is to ensure they can all pass the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen exam for things like sit, sit-stay, down, down-stay, come when called, heeling on lead, waiting at doorways, not jumping on people and going to their kennel or bed on command.
Dogs that excel at their foundations program may be considered for assistance dog work and placement with one of our partner organization. Currently, we work with Rescue 22 Foundation, Topaz Asssitance Dogs and Sector K9. That’s the real “magic” of our program. Our primary goal is to produce wonderful family pets, but when we find a dog who has that special quality for service dog work we’re ready to help that dog go all the way. Please note that MCK9 does NOT privately train service dogs for the public. You cannot adopt a dog from us to be your service dog.
At a minimum, all dogs will spend 16 weeks in training. If we put a dollar amount on how much training each dog receives, it would be somewhere in the ball park of $8,000-$10,000. It’s a labor of love, and you have a the inmates to thank for their hard work day in, and out. The dog training instructor resopnsible for teaching the inmates how to train dogs has 20 years of experience in canine behavior and training. This program is truly unmatched the quality of dogs we produce.
With the versatility of training our inmate trainers and handlers can accomplish, we’re able to produce the following types of working dogs for our 501c3 partners:
- Autism dogs for children with autism
- PTSD dogs for combat veterans
- Mobility assistance dogs for those who are in a wheelchair
- Working dogs for detection, like narcotics
Plesae note that we DO NOT adopt out “service dogs” to the general public. We partner with other registered 501c3 organizations who would like to take one of our highly trained and temperment tested service dog prospects into their organization to continue its public access and task training.
If you the end user looking for a service dog you should look into Assitance Dogs Internatioal to find a reputable service dog provider in your area. It is NOT advisable to train your own dog, which you already own, as a service dog.
Housing and Care
All of our canines live with their inmate trainers and handlers inside of the prison. We have 18 dogs in our program at any given time. The inmates who have been selected by the institution to participate in our program have shown exemplary behavior during their own rehabilitation programs while incarcerated.
You have never seen a more dedicated, compassionate and motivated group of men!
All of our dogs get to spend 24/7 time with their trainers and handlers and even have one housing unit designed just for them. This way, all of the canine training teams can be together under one roof as their own canine community within the prison.
The dogs are allowed to accompany their inmate handlers all over the prison compound once they have had some basic training.
Prior to entering the prison, every dog receives all of it’s vaccinations and is heart worm tested to ensure the dog is negative for any parasites, including heart worms. The dogs are on monthly heart guard, and receive veterinary care as needed.
Should a dog become injured or ill we remove that animal so that our veterinarian at Sunset Animal Clinic can treat our Magic City K9. Each dog has their own crate, bowls, leash & collar while serving time at Everglades Re Entry Center.
Magic City K9 is not tax supported. Our support comes strictly from donations and dog adoption fees! We charge a $350 adoption fee, which covers the costs we incur in selecting, vetting and feeding the dogs in our care. This is a minimum required fee. The adoption fee also covers a DNA test for some of our “mystery mutts.”
We also encourage all applicants to create or promote additional fundraising to help save more dogs, and support more people when they adopt a Magic City K9.
We hope that people will see the value of what we’re trying to accomplish, so we certainly appreciate those who make larger donations to support our ongoing efforts of saving shelter dogs and helping people.
These men WILL re-enter society, so it’s duty to make sure that we give them the best possible chance to have a positive outcome as members of our community. Just like the dogs!
We understand the hesitation that people feel when adopting a shelter dog with little no background behavioral history on that animal.
- What if the dog isn’t friendly towards children?
- Other dogs?
- And so on
When you apply for a family pet through Magic City K9, we’ll do our best to ensure a perfect match based on your lifestyle, family and needs.
We really encourage people to be open minded and to adopt a dog based on that dog’s temperament, not its size, shape, color or sex.
What’s most important in adopting a rescue dog is that the dog will fit into your family and your lifestyle, seamlessly. Before coming into our program all of our dogs have been tested around children, cats, and dogs. All of our dogs have been tested for food aggression, touch sensitivity, reactivity, impulse control, sound sensitivity and temperament.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
A generous thank you, from the bottom of our heart, to the key players who help us do what we do! Without you, we couldn’t make the impact we do.
A special thanks to several of our anonymous donors (you know who you are!), who sponsored a year’s worth of dog food and all fees needed to get our organization up and running in 2017.
You guys are, paws down, the best!
Ready to feel the Magic?
You can help save a shelter dog’s life while at the same time feel great knowing you’re helping another person, a human, on their journey towards a positive life change and likely a career in the animal industry. You can help by supporting our program! No donation is too small. Every cent makes a difference.