Carrying on the legacy of Paws in Prison founder Machelle Gaconnet, Catherine stepped up to fill incredibly big shoes to help rehabilitate over 1,000 women inmates through canine therapy.
Catherine Laria has been working with animals for over 20 years. She is the owner of K9 Country Club in Bulverde and has been bringing her expertise to Paws in Prison since 2016. Paws in Prison helps teach women love, compassion, and responsibility while teaching them valuable skills within the Animal Care Industry through training shelter dogs. The program is instrumental to these women as they are paroled into society as better, productive citizens. The dogs are then made available to adopt into loving homes.
In 2019, tragedy struck as the organization’s founder, Machelle Gaconnet, unexpectedly passed away. Catherine immediately stepped up and reorganized Machelle’s program to reach new heights. Catherine has spent the last year with a new board rebuilding the program, driving an hour-and-a-half to the prison multiple times a week, and even took a pay cut to help out financially.
Read more on Catherine’s story, check out pictures from her Legend ceremony, and learn more about Paws in Prison by heading to her Legend page!