Leash Ceremonies Are Back!

A Special Pandemic Note

Leash ceremonies have been on hold for the last two years due to the pandemic. EENP staff have only been able to consistently visit the ABEL programs since early 2022. We are so excited to announce we have recently gotten approval to invite our community to attend leash ceremonies again.

This is the first set of ceremonies since the pandemic began and DPS is still working out the details of what they need. Because of the timeframe, we are extending an invitation now even though the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) hasn't provided us with all of the ceremony details.

We do know the ceremonies will be held indoors and guests will be required to show proof of COVID vaccination (booster not required at this time).

Please be aware that DPS may change the details at any time, including limiting the number of EENP guests, requiring additional paperwork, or requiring proof of vaccination booster. Thank you for your patience!

Ready to RSVP?

Jump straight to the RSVP form if you don't need the details!

About the ABEL Leash Ceremonies

Each ABEL facility hosts a ceremony at the close of each training period for guests of EENP and DPS to celebrate the incoming and outgoing dogs as well as the accomplishments of the training period. These ceremonies are held three times a year, approximately one month before EENP's public graduation ceremonies.

At each ceremony,

  • for pups moving into training in ABEL, EENP community trainers pass their dogs' leashes to the ABEL trainers to mark their pups' transition into advanced training in ABEL;
  • for pups graduating from training to be considered for placement with an EENP client, ABEL trainers pass their dogs' leashes to an EENP client or client representative;
  • ABEL trainers give demonstrations of the training process and the dogs' skills, usually in the form of short skits;
  • one ABEL trainer gives a speech about his experience in the program; and
  • after the ceremony, guests can sit down with the ABEL trainers to talk and enjoy light food and drink provided by NC DPS

The leash ceremonies are a special opportunity for EENP's community to personally witness the professionalism and commitment of the ABEL trainers. The attendance of EENP's guests, most coming from over an hour away, is a truly invaluable show of support for the ABEL trainers and the work they do, and they often mention how much it means to them. We hope you can join us for a ceremony!

Ceremony Dates and Details

Warren Correctional Institute (WCI)

Manson, NC

  • Thursday, June 16, 2022, time TBD - likely options are 10 am-12 pm (arrive 9 am) or 1-3 pm (arrive 12 noon)
  • RSVP and record check form due by Wed 6/1 at noon
  • Since the time is not firm, please RSVP if you would like to attend and add a note at the end if you can only attend in the morning or afternoon. We will update the time as soon as the prison confirms it!
  • Unfortunately, minors are not able to attend ceremonies at Warren.
  • Guests may only attend ONE leash ceremony in a calendar year at Warren without taking additional training ("blue card" or "PREA" training). That training is approximately 2 hours long and is usually offered before the May and September leash ceremonies for guests who wish to attend more than one ceremony at Warren in a calendar year. (Not offered in May/June 2022 as no guests will need it to attend.) The RSVP form will help you determine if you need training or not in order to attend.

Caswell Correctional Center (CCC)

Blanch, NC

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2022 from 1-3 pm (arrival 12:00-12:30 pm)
  • RSVP by Mon 6/13 at noon (no forms needed)
  • Minors may be able to attend the ceremony at Caswell if accompanied by their parent or guardian.
  • Currently, guests may attend all three leash ceremonies at Caswell each year without taking additional volunteer training from NC DPS. This policy may change at any time.
Tentative Dates for 2022 Leash Ceremonies

We expect to have leash ceremonies on the following dates in 2022 if you would like to pencil them in on your calendar. These dates are subject to change.

  • WCI: Thursdays - Jun 16, Sep 29
  • CCC: Tuesdays - Jun 21, Oct 4

Want to Attend?

Fill out the form below to RSVP. You can also access the RSVP form directly at this link if you are having difficulty with the embedded form below.