Grooming program in need of students

posted January 10th, 2018 by
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Pets Helping People, which operates Muddy Paws, is seeking more women to participate in its free training program.

The nonprofit is committed to reducing the number of incarcerated women in Oklahoma by providing training and employment assistance in the dog grooming industry for women with a criminal history.

Women in the program train in one of three areas related to dog grooming: bathers/brusher, kennel technicians or groomers. The program requires 40 hours a week for four months and upon completion, graduates are provided with about $1000 worth of grooming tools and assistance finding employment. The total package of both training and equipment is valued at $7,800.

However, recent changes to sentence lengths has created a shortage of women able to participate in the training program.

“Because the prisons are so full, what they have been doing is reevaluating the amount of days remaining on a person’s sentence for them to actually be considered work release or go out into the public and find a job,” said Debbie Davis, director of operations and outreach for Pets Helping People.

The program has gone from having as many as 25 students to just having 6 currently enrolled, said Davis.

Davis is now trying to spread the word that any woman with a criminal past is eligible to participate. For example, women who have had DUIs, have been to drug court or been on probation, even if the record is in another state, can apply for the program.

“If they are having a hard time getting a job because they have a record and if they can devote four months of time to our training program, then we can get them trained and they can find a job,” Davis said.

Wages in the grooming industry range from $9 to $25 an hour with some graduates making as much as $33 an hour, Davis said.

Applicants must read at a sixth grade level and must not have charges related to animal cruelty. To learn more about the program, visit muddy-paws.org or call 918-749-5255 to set up an interview.

“There is a lot of potential and people in Tulsa love their pets,” Davis added. “It’s a very good industry to get into.”

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

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