Stink Bug FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

About The Stink Bug Project

If you have a question that is not on this list, please contact us at or 303.839.6782.

The process to adopt and take home a Stink Bug dog typically takes 2-3 months. Sometimes it moves quicker and sometimes it takes a bit longer, depending on things like how long it takes to get clearance from your child’s doctor and complete reference checks, as well as current availability. This is a big step in your family’s life, and we believe that it is important to take some time to make your home and your lives ready for a new member. The Stink Bug Project does not allow for a rush on the adoption process in most cases.

Dogs that are taken in for training to the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program receive all vaccinations and veterinary care, are spayed or neutered, and are microchipped for identification. During their training, they are evaluated as thoroughly as possible, and the handler(s) and staff involved with their training document as much information about their behavior as possible. Some dogs have an incomplete history when they arrive at the program, but the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program attempts to get as many details as they can about the dog’s life before training. Dogs are not released to families until their training has been completed. The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program does not adopt puppies to Stink Bug families.

It is important that the gift of a Stink Bug dog not be a surprise gift or reward for your child. It is never clear how a child will respond to a particular dog, and that response may be negative if they don’t know what’s happening. The adoption of a well-trained dog is a very special event and will be a better gift if it is expected and anticipated by your child.

The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program is an income-generating business for the Colorado Correctional Industries system and they are charged with arranging adoptions for all of the dogs that have been trained. While they will try to accommodate the characteristics and breed or type of dog you are interested in adopting, they cannot guarantee the availability of any particular dog for your family.

Some families come to us with a dog they have purchased or adopted that needs the great obedience training available through the prison training program. We can apply a Stink Bug Project grant to pay for a 4-week boarding-in training for a family that otherwise is eligible for the Stink Bug Project. You can check this option in the Interest Survey.

The Stink Bug Project and the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program are not able to cover the cost of transporting a dog out of state for you to interview them. You and your family must be available to come to Denver or Canon City for the interview with your dog.

Typically, the interviews and “Go Home Classes” will be held at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility (3600 Havana Ave., Denver, 80239) on Thursdays, or CCI International Center (3800 Grandview Ave., Cañon City, 81212) on Fridays. A background check must be performed on clients entering the Denver facility. If needed, Stink Bug Project staff will request information including your full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and state of issue to facilitate the background check.

Sometimes people are allergic to dogs and don’t know it until they are around them for some time. Some dogs don’t adjust as well as it was hoped they would and aren’t a good fit for your family. Some families have circumstances that change their ability to care for a dog after they have adopted it. If the dog you have adopted through The Stink Bug Project doesn’t work out for you, the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program requires that you return the dog to them. You may choose a different dog, if desired, but under no circumstances may you give or sell the dog to another person or take it to a shelter for relinquishment.

The staff at both the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program and The Stink Bug Project work to make the security checks and entrance into the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility as low-key as possible. Some families prefer not to go through the security check and facility entry process, which can be intimidating. If you would prefer a more neutral setting, you are welcome to schedule your interview at the Canon City facility, which is outside of the prison walls, and therefore in a less restrictive setting.

We do allow families to adopt a Stink Bug Dog even if they have another dog in the family, but we would need to make sure that the Stink Bug Dog and your existing dog get along before finalizing the adoption.

Dogs, like people, sometimes get seriously injured or become unexpectedly ill after they have been adopted by a family. As a part of the adoption agreement, each Stink Bug family is expected to take on the costs of caring for their dog, even if illness or injury happens. The Stink Bug Project can help you identify low-cost veterinary care for your dog, if you need to find it. Please contact us if you need to discuss options for taking care of a sick or injured dog.

Yes. Eligible Stink Bug Project applicants are families with children up to age 18 (or 21 if they are living with their parents), who have a medical diagnosis of a serious illness, whether long-term or chronic. Examples include but are not limited to: cancer, kidney disease, seizure disorders, neurological conditions, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart defects, asthma, inherited conditions, and others. Please contact us if you would like to discuss our eligibility for a Stink Bug dog.

Dogs in the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program are trained at facilities around the state and are made available for interviews by members of the public on a weekly basis. Scheduling each dog’s interviews requires significant coordination, and your dog may have interviews scheduled with other people before your interview date. There also may be a waiting list of people who want to meet them if their first interview doesn’t result in an adoption.

Typically, you will be scheduled to meet two dogs during your interview session. The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program staff works hard to find dogs that are a good match for your family’s needs and requests. In evaluating which dog to take home, your impressions and each dog’s response to each person in your family are important considerations. If it doesn’t feel like a fit, you are not obligated to move forward with the adoption. We can always schedule additional interviews in the future.

It can take a few weeks before a dog feels comfortable in his/her new environment, so please have realistic expectations and take advantage of the behavior support offered by the prison. Also, remember that consistency and routine greatly help a dog get settled into your home. They are like us in that way and do better with predictable routines and family dynamics.

The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program does an excellent job training dogs to be obedient and responsive pets, but they are not skilled working dogs trained to help a person with a disability or perform a very specific task. If you need to find a medical service dog for your child, please contact us and we can refer you to an appropriate program. The Stink Bug Project cannot take on the cost of specialized training for a service animal for your child.

The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program, by definition, does its work inside of prisons, and therefore has no ability to complete the public access training needed to certify a dog for public or school access. If you want a Stink Bug dog to be certified for public access, you will need to contact a private trainer to finish their training and certify them. The costs of this training are the responsibility of the adoptive family and not the Stink Bug Project or K-9 Companion Prison Training Program.

There are some similar programs out there, but none quite like The Stink Bug Project. If you know of any other programs like it, please let us know! Families from all over the country ask us about adoptions and we would love to have somewhere to direct them.

Allison and her family are doing great! She still reviews every Stink Bug application and loves that the Stink Bug Project still makes so many children so happy!

Allison was given the Outstanding Youth Award at the 2014 National Philanthropy Day event in Denver, all in honor of her incredible dedication and vision for starting The Stink Bug Project. Way to go, girl!

We only have dogs for adoption through The Stink Bug Project, but the cat lovers among us wish you great success in finding a kitty forever friend for your child.

The K-9 Companion Prison Training Program offers lifelong support for you and your dog through their program. Depending on the behavior that you would like to solve, they may be able to offer a simple suggestion that nips it in the bud, recommend their free weekly alumni classes, or even take your dog back into the prison training program for a refresher course or additional skills training (additional costs apply and are not covered by The Stink Bug Project).

There are a number of ways you can support the program! Here are a few:

  1. Make a financial donation to support a family’s adoption. Give today!
  2. Purchase Stink Bug biscuits at Cosmo’s Dog Bakery! Cosmo’s generously donates 50% of all proceeds for these biscuits to support the program.
  3. Help spread the word about what we do.
  4. Follow us on social media – Facebook or Instagram.

For more information on giving and volunteer opportunities, please contact

Yes. We often meet members of the public who have adopted a dog through the K-9 Companion Prison Training Program. Check their website to look at pictures and read bios of the dogs they currently have available.

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Ready to get started? Submit your application for The Stink Bug Project today.