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Felons No More

The Basso family adopted one, two and now three Heaven Can Wait pups.

Written by Carol Lisowski


Pups on Parole is one of Heaven Can Wait’s most successful programs. The dogs that come into HCWS often were neglected or abused. These dogs enter the Pups on Parole program at the Florence McClure Correctional Facility for women to get a second chance at life. They live 24/7 with an inmate handler who, under the guidance of HCWS specially trained dog coordinators, teach them basic commands, ensure they are house broken, and give them time to mend and trust in people once again. Upon graduation, they are ready for their forever home.

Not only do the pups learn all these great behaviors and learn how to love and trust again, it makes them an ideal candidate to be adopted. Jason Basso has now adopted three dogs from Heaven Can Wait. He said the dogs available through HCWS are healthy and happy. Getting a Pups on Parole make-over is all good!

His newest addition to the family is Kolya, a St. Bernard mix puppy who was about 10 months old when he was chosen as a companion to Rocco, a boxer mix who is a year older. Kolya was owned by a family in the military that were both deployed and had to be given up. Rocco was owned by a family who lived in a non-dog apartment complex and was crated all the time. Eventually the property managers found out and Rocco was surrendered to HCWS.

Jason said he was not looking to adopt another dog when he visited the Petsmart where he first saw Kolya. His two previous dogs had recently passed away within 4 months of each other. He had found Rocco online a year earlier and believing that dogs need companionship, decided Kolya needed to join Rocco.

Prior to Rocco, Jason had adopted another dog, Bongo, for his son, Nicky.

Each dog is totally different and has his own unique personality. Kolya thinks he is a lap dog even at 125 pounds. He loves to go to the dog park and if there aren’t any big dogs to play with (and there haven’t been any dogs bigger than Kolya) he will play with the little “Weiner” dogs and Chihuahuas. Rocco is very playful and sits on his rear end like a person, totally vertical. Jason loves telling people that he has two prior felons living with him.

Jason said he appreciates the care and concern that the HCWS coordinators give in finding the pups the right home. He said he still gets calls periodically checking on their progress. Anytime he hears of someone looking for a pet, he always refers them to HCWS.

Rocco, before his adoption.

Start your own four-legged Heaven Can Wait family by checking out the cats and dogs available for adoption at: www.hcws.org  Or come to our adoption center each weekend inside Petsmart off I-215 and S. Rainbow in the Arroyo Crossing Center.


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