Monday, November 29, 2010

Jail Dog Program



I just learned about a terrific program - Operation Second Chance is a unique partnership between the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia and the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department. The program gives carefully selected inmates at the local jail the opportunity to give back to society by providing foster care and obedience skills to animal control dogs slated to be euthanized. 

Sheriff Butch Conway conceived the idea after looking at the staggering number of animals that are being put down in Gwinnett County for lack of resources to save them. He believed his department could make a difference not just in the lives of the dogs, but also in the life of the inmate population. While there are some prisons that operate dog programs across the nation, Gwinnett County may be the first jail in the country to have such a program.

Operation Second Chance is designed to place a dog with two inmates. The dog is pulled from the euthanasia line at Gwinnett Animal Control by the Society of Humane Friends and taken to the Gwinnett County Jail. Once there, the dogs reside with the inmates chosen to work with them, and those inmates train them in basic obedience. They also learn to groom and care for the animals. Not only is the dog getting a second chance, but the inmates are learning valuable social and vocational skills that will help them become more productive citizens once they are released from jail.

The program is at no cost to the taxpayers of Gwinnett County. The care, food, training and veterinarian services for the dogs are all being provided through volunteers and the Society of Humane Friends. The dogs are placed for adoption through the Society of Humane Friends. Check out this video to see the program in action.

Thanks to Felissa Elfenbein at Two Little Cavaliers for sharing information on this great program.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderfully familiar. I just recorded a story for Kyla Duffy's Up with Pups: Don't Kill Bill show about a lab who came from a program just like this. It was a beautiful story for all involved including the inmate who trained the dog, the lab who learned so quickly under his care, and the adopters who wrote letters to the man they called the lab's Dad updating him on the dog's life. Win. Win. Win.

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  2. wow Kim - dats great! more jails should have programs like dis. it saves dogs and helps da inmates too. xoxo

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  3. Now that's what I call a great program. The correctional facility where live does dat too. Give the inmates something to love and be responsible for and helps anipals at the same time.

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  4. you can tell by watching da video dat it makes da inmates feel really good about demselves. dey receive unconditional love - maybe for da first time in der lives. xoxo

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  5. I love that program! I've seen it mentioned on TV a few times. It's such a great idea - saving both the dog and the inmates in a way.

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  6. i've heard of other prison programs, but i think dis is da first one in a local jail. either way - it's a great program, and i hope other jails will consider doing it too. xoxo

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