Exploring themes of relinquishment and loss

Mary Renck Jalongo, Mary Ann Sontag-Bowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Prison dog programs rely on positive relationships between and among people and dogs. The downside of these strong attachments is that inmate/handlers have to grapple with the issue of ending their time with a bonded dog and watching it leave the corrections context. This chapter begins by discussing the many different types of loss that offenders confront during their time in jail or prison. Next, it analyzes the different emotions associated when a person loses a dog that he or she cares about. The third part of the chapter recommends practical strategies for coping when dogs exit the program to join the family or individual who has been selected give the animal a permanent home. The chapter concludes with the central message of this chapter: loss of a companion animal is a legitimate cause for grief, an opportunity to develop personal insight, and a challenge that can be better managed with the support of a caring community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrison Dog Programs
Subtitle of host publicationRenewal and Rehabilitation in Correctional Facilities
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030256180
ISBN (Print)9783030256173
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Continuing bonds
  • Disenfranchised grief
  • Pet attachment
  • Pet loss


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring themes of relinquishment and loss'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this