Star Dogs and Training

Our Core Mission

Selected from different shelters and rescues, our dogs are tested for behavior and characteristics a dog must have to start training to be a service dog.
From shelter to prison, our dogs will transition to their new environment and start their daily training overseen by the trainers at Blue Star Service Dogs. Located in Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan or in Saginaw Correctional facility's Veteran block in Freeland Michigan, a dog may be housed for 4-6 months, with their inmate handlers. These dogs learn basic obedience, command training, and pre-task training and basic tasks such as turning off and on lights, picking up objects, and opening doors.
Once paired with a veteran the dog will go home with them and start weekly training at the Training Center in Pinckney Michigan. In those sessions the veteran and dog team learn trust, commands, routines, and complete that emotional bond. 
Training will include several levels of testing including Canine Good Citizen, Canine Good Citizen Community, Canine Good Citizen Urban


Bring Your Own Dog

Sometimes our veterans have formed a bond with a dog already in their home. With the Bring Your Own Dog program, once the veteran is accepted, the dog will be evaluated to determine training as a service dog. Some of the criteria for the dog is;

  • Completed basic obedience classes/ training

  • Spay/ neutered

  • Veterinarian certification of Health and up to date on vaccines and preventatives

  • No history of aggression

The training will also take place weekly for at least a year at the Training Center in Pinckney, Michigan. Where the veteran and dog team will strengthen their bond working together and healing.

STAR Cares

Animal Assisted Therapy Programs

Located in two prisons addressing health issues of inmates. Dogs are utilized with animal assisted goals to improve health treatment and living/ working environments.
At Woodland Correctional Facility in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, severely mentally ill inmates are encouraged to participate in treatment and self care with the help of two trained Blue Star dogs. Daily, these dogs participate in group therapy, rehabilitation projects, and one on one treatments, Providing the type of comfort and support only a caring dog can possess.
Located in Jackson, Michigan, the Egeler Reception and Guidance Center houses the Duane L. Waters Health Center. In this facility there is a Hospice program initiated in 2016. Our Blue Star dogs and monthly training are donated to the facility to comfort the actively dying prisoners, providing support, entertainment and even face kisses. A truly powerful, human program that is completed with the love of a dog.


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