News: Expired: TREATS Program

Published Mon July 14, 2014


In late April 2014, Osceola County Animal Services proudly entered into an agreement with The Transition House and the Training and Rescuing Eagerly Adoptable and Talented Shelter dogs (TREATS) program was born. The Transition House is a local facility that serves as a “last stop” for inmates to complete their sentences before entering mainstream society. The inmates train shelter dogs left in their care which greatly increases the likelihood the animals will be adopted.

We are very fortunate to have a local dog trainer, Heather Szasz, who has volunteered her time to train the inmates on techniques they use to train the dogs. And the dogs are not the only ones who benefit from this program, so do the inmates. They benefit by learning and developing new skills and techniques that will help them make a successful transition back into society. Also, studies have shown that animals help people in other ways such as reducing stress and increasing life expectancy.

And finally, the shelter benefits because this program provides another small outlet for sheltered dogs and frees up much needed space at the facility. Programs like this truly create win-win situations for everyone, including the community.

The first two dogs sent to the program have graduated and now we have several other dogs on location under training. We are truly appreciative to the staff at The Transition House for reaching out to us to make this program a reality and most especially to Heather Szasz for her willingness to devote so much time and passion to this program. Her expertise as a dog trainer coupled with her passion for people has made this a perfect match for her.

It is our hope that this program will grow over time and that can only happen with the support of the community. If you would like to make a donation to help support this program, you can use the donate tab on our site. Please make sure to specify in the message section that your donation is for the TREATS program.

Thank you for your interest in this program. If you have any questions, please email for more information.


TREATS (Training and Rescuing Eagerly Adoptable and Talented Shelter Dogs) was founded in April 2014 by The Transition House, Inc. in partnership with Osceola County Animal Services.

Mission Statement

To provide inmates and sheltered dogs a second chance by building necessary skills that will allow trained dogs to find forever homes and help inmates prepare to enter mainstream society.

Vision Statement

The dedicated individuals of TREATS believe that through our vocational aspirations, life experiences, and dedication to effective training, we can improve the quality of life for rescued pets as well as the families that will care for them. We are committed to helping inmates at TTH develop skills that are applicable in today’s job market increasing their opportunities for employment.