Jail Inmates Could Save Stray Dogs

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In Syracuse, N.Y., a proposed ordinance to build a $350,000 dog kennel at the Jamesville penitentiary could help save tray dogs as well as help improve inmate behavior.

The plan is for qualified inmates to train and care for stray dogs pulled from the DeWitt Animal Hospital. They will then help the canines get ready for adoption.

“We thought we could address the issue of having too many stray dogs and also come up with something constructive for those incarcerated at Jamesville to do,” Ben Dublin, Onondaga County chief of staff told Syracuse.com.

Photo credit: (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

If the plan is approved on Oct. 8, and enough funds are allocated for the program, the construction of the dog kennel could start as early as next spring.

The dog facility will house 20 to 25 dogs at a time and inmates will work closely with certified dog organizations such as Cuse Pit Crew to receive training courses that will enable them to prepare the pets for their forever homes.

There have been other institutions with similar programs and those programs have been highly successful.  Last spring, the Albany Correctional Facility started to house two stray dogs at a time, the difference was that at Albany, inmates are allowed to live in their cells with the dogs-in-training. This opportunity yielded improved inmate behavior and all six dogs that have gone through the program have been successfully trained and adopted.

According to Brad Shear with Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, inmate behavior has improved thanks to the relaxing presence of the dogs.

“You have to be on good behavior to qualify for the program. It’s pretty much the best job you can get in the jail,” Shear said.

We hope Jamesville penitentiary’s plan for the dog kennel gets approved and many innocent dogs get a second chance to live and find their forever homes.

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