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Rusk County correctional center helping inmates train dogs before going to new homes


OVERTON, Texas (KLTV) – For almost a 12 months now, out within the jail yards of the Billy Moore Correctional Middle, dozens of inmates and their canine companions line up, preparing for an additional spherical of canine coaching. The dogs are from the native animal shelter, on the lookout for a brand new home. Earlier than they’ll go home with a brand new household, a bunch of inmates get to coach them on basic instructions and obedience.

“Loads of these guys, they’ve by no means been chargeable for something and to provide them that canine and provides them a objective it simply actually modifications them,” mentioned Billy Moore Correctional Middle Warden John Cochran.

That is all a part of a program referred to as the Second Likelihood Initiative Jail Dog Program, and because the identify implies, it offers shelter dogs a second likelihood at a brand new home whereas giving inmates a second likelihood at a greater life after their jail sentence.

“These dogs are getting a second likelihood however so are we,” mentioned inmate Michael Morgan. “I didn’t assume I’d be capable of train a canine one thing, however with this program, I’ve change into extra affected person and I’ve realized that If I may train a canine one thing, I may train myself one thing.”

This system companions with Rusk County Pets Alive and the Henderson Animal Middle to pair a canine with one or two inmates. Via this system, the dogs are capable of study expertise from crate coaching and tips on how to be home damaged, to tips like leaping by hula hoops and praying for his or her meals.

“We additionally get to show the dogs new tips to play lifeless, leap by hula hoops, tips on how to pray,” Morgan mentioned. “It’s only a nice alternative.”

Program director, Jamie Fenton Stearns took the chance to guide the trainings after going by the same canine coaching program when she hung out in jail.

I used to be really at an MTC unit the place they really had a Paws in Jail program and I grew to become a canine coach,” Stearns mentioned. “It was destiny at that second and my dream got here true of having the ability to begin a jail canine program.”

All of the dogs that full this system can be available for adoption by Rusk County Pets Alive. To this point, almost 16 dogs have been placed in a home by this system.

“You possibly can go on our web page and you’ll fill out an software kind…we do meet and greets and ensure they’re viable in that dwelling situation and you’ll undertake these dogs,” Stearns mentioned.

Organizers for this system, together with the BMCC, need to develop this system for extra shelter dogs to be placed in properties, and for extra inmates to study expertise wanted after their sentence.

“You see a few of these guys after they very first begin in this system and then you definitely see them as they’ve skilled their first canine or their second canine and you’ll simply actually see a change of their lives,” Cochran mentioned.


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