Nick Walczak & his service dog, Turner

Summit on Making Northeast Ohio Communities Safer


November 17, 2014 – North Canton, OH – On Tuesday, November 18, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) is a hosting a Summit on Making Northeast Ohio Communities Safer, an unprecedented event in the Northeast Ohio area to share what the Ohio prison system and its community partners are doing to reduce the likelihood of inmates going to back to prison after they make the transition to the community.

Working Animals Giving Service for Kids (W.A.G.S. 4 Kids) and Presenter, Wendy Nelson Crann will host “FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS – PATTERNING EXCELLENCE IN BEHAVIOR” Join Ms. Crann, the Executive Director of W.A.G.S. 4 Kids, as she shares a 12 minute video and discussion of her award-winning service animal, “Cell Dog” training program. She will also introduce former inmate Josh Allendar who is now a W.A.G.S. employee and active trainer in the Grafton Correctional Institution’s program. They will engage in a discussion of the goals of re-entry employment through rehabilitative skills training programs. Objectives:

*Programming for long term inmate populations

*Transferring program skills to successful re-entry performance

*Planning support toward re-entry income earning opportunities

Ms. Crann oversees all training aspects of the W.A.G.S. 4 Kids programs including foster home selections for puppies and ongoing training evaluations. She is a member of the Delta Society, a Provider Member of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) and was chosen by the American Kennel Club as a registered evaluator for their Canine Good Citizen’s qualification certifications.

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“We are so happy with our partnership with ODRC. We have been at Northeast Ohio Release, North Central Correctional Complex & Grafton Correctional Institution. We feel it is a true partnership with the ODRC for our charity.” Crann continues, “We look forward to many more years and the opportunity to bring long term rehabilitative inmate programming with true rehabilitative opportunity. The future of W.A.G.S. Is very much tied to the future of the ODRC. It’s a win-win-win”

Over 50 workshops will be presented covering a range of topics including housing, education, vocational training, recovery services, pro-social programming, victims issues, faith-based partnerships and more. The Summit also includes over 90 booths by community agencies and organization as well as employers. The Summit also offers wellness checks and information for all participants. Law enforcement personnel and attorneys, social service agencies, community organizations, clergy and members of faith communities, ex-offenders and interested citizens are all encouraged to participate! The Summit is free (lunch will be available for cost). Registration begins at 8 AM. An opening session with a presentation by ODRC Director Gary Mohr begins at 9 AM. The event ends at 4 PM. The Summit is taking place at Faith Family Church, 8200 Freedom Ave, North Canton. The W.A.G.S. 4 Kids Workshop will be held from 12:20 –  1:20pm in Room 1. Staff will be available afterwards to answer any questions. For more information about W.A.G.S. 4 Kids visit:


Press Contact:

Sera Nelson

Director of Development & Special Events

W.A.G.S. 4 Kids

Phone: 216-586-5853 x 2



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