Pocatello Animal Services Programs

Cell Dog Program

The Cell Dog program (PDF) rescues dogs from local shelters and enrolls them in basic obedience training programs. These classes take place in correctional facilities and actively involve inmate trainers. Once trained, the dogs are lovingly placed for adoption.

How are the dogs selected?

The dogs are selected from the many homeless dogs that find their way to the Pocatello Animal Shelter. Vaccinations for upper respiratory and parvo-virus are administered, and they are put through a series of behavior tests by our trainer. The dogs are then taken to the veterinarian for a thorough exam. They are spayed or neutered, if needed, and vaccinated for rabies.

 What training do the dogs receive?

Once placed at the prison, the dogs are with their inmate handlers 24-7 and receive intensive training each day. They are taught the basic commands of "Sit," "Stay," "Heel," "Come," "Down," and "Down Stay."

In addition to these basic commands, we endeavor to give the dogs knowledge of other fun tricks and behaviors to form a stronger bond with the adopting family. Some examples of these tricks are "Saying Prayers," "Fetch," "Roll Over," "Crawl," and "Hide and Seek."

When dogs are ready for adoption, they would be ready to pass a Good Canine Citizen test.

Adoption Questions

The adoption fee for a Cell Dog is higher, currently at the rate of $200 plus tax. This is a great deal for adopting a dog that has had basic training, been spayed or neutered, is current on vaccinations, and is microchipped.

The new family can also attend some training classes with our trainer to learn what the dog has learned so they can continue working with the dog.

Adoption Application (PDF)

To learn more about dogs currently in the program, see our posting on Petfinder.com. Look at the Pocatello Animal Shelter’s adoptable list and search for dogs with "Cell Dog" as part of their name.

To find out more about the program or to receive an adoption application, contact the Pocatello Animal Shelter at 208-234-6156.

Community Cat Program

Pocatello Animal Services has partnered with the Best Friends Animal Society to provide a proven and effective humane alternative for stray cats known as a Community Cat program or Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program (PDF).

When eligible cats are trapped and taken to the shelter, they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, treated for parasites and ear-tipped. An ear tip is the universal sign that an outdoor cat has been spayed or neutered. After recovery, the cats are returned to their neighborhoods, reducing the number of cats in the community over time.

Benefits of Spaying/Neutering

  • Prevents unwanted litters, reducing community cat populations
  • Saves taxpayer dollars by keeping cats out of municipal shelters
  • Decreases the number of cats dying in shelters
  • Helps improve the health of outdoor cats
  • Reduces nuisance behaviors like spraying, fighting, howling and roaming
  • Creates safer and healthier neighborhoods by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats

If we all pitch in, we can save more lives. Pocatello Animal Services takes in more than 3,000 animals from the community each year. Our goal is to save every animal who can be saved through programs designed to help pets in the shelter and the community.