Open Position

Training Assistant: POOCH Program

Mule Creek State Prison: Ione, CA

Tender Loving Canines Assistance Dogs (TLCAD) is a non-profit organization with the mission of transforming lives with service dogs. This is accomplished by building bridges to independence for wounded warriors and individuals with autism, their families and their communities. Through the Prisoners Overcoming Obstacles & Creating Hope (POOCH) Program, dogs are trained in the prison system. The program is designed to meet the increasing demands for service dogs while providing an opportunity for education, rehabilitation and community improvement for incarcerated individuals. By utilizing positive training methods, inmates are learning not only how to positively and effectively train our dogs, but how to more positively and effectively interact in their environment and with others. TLCAD is an Assistance Dogs International accredited organization.


The position is an excellent fit for individuals looking to learn service dog handling skills from a professional service dog trainer.  The Training Assistant will be supporting the Training Manager for the POOCH Program.   This is located in the Sacramento area and at the Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) in Ione, CA.  Advancement opportunities are available.


  • Assist in transferring dogs from inside the prison to and from the training van.

  • Assist in weekly dog training outings in the Sacramento area, socializing & desensitizing dogs to public environments in preparation for becoming a service dog.

  • Assist with maintaining van, organizing equipment and taking inventory as needed.

  • Assist with transporting dogs to appointments as needed.

  • Assist in testing & training evaluations of dogs with reporting and record keeping.

  • Gathering and filing documentation to ensure compliance with accreditation standards.

  • Review, notate and file Training Log Reports electronically.

  • Take photos and videos of training sessions as needed.

  • Other duties as assigned.

  • Adhere to all CDCR Standards of behavior and dress code.


  • Working knowledge in MS Office365 (MS Outlook, Excel andWord)

  • Must be comfortable walking through a prison yard and interacting with prison inmates

  • Must pass background check to enter the state prison

  • Maintain a well-groomed and professional appearance

  • Must have a reliable source of transportation

  • Must work well as part of a team and in a team environment

  • Good written and oral communication

  • Frequently walk, kneel, lift up to 50 pounds, crouch, and other physical demands


  • Full-time or part-time options available

  • Pay based on experience, starting at $15/hour

  • Excellent health-care benefits for full-time employees