Prisoners paired with pups provides second chances
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- The Humane Society of Northeast Florida, a no-kill shelter in Putnam County, runs a program called T.A.I.L.S. - Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills - which seems to provide homeless dogs a second chance and a better chance at going to a good home.
Pattie Brown works at the shelter and helps to run this program which she sees as a win-win for everyone involved. She says, "The prisoners are with the dogs 24-7 so that helps the dogs, but also the prisoners. If the prisoners have a down day they can turn around and know that the dog is happy he is there." Since doing the program with the inmates at the Lawtey Correctional Institution they have seen their adoption rates go from ten percent to 90 percent.
Dustin West is serving time at the institution for grand larceny, but what he's doing with his time is making a difference in the lives of unwanted dogs. He also gets to see firsthand how it helps the inmates, too. "There was nothing better than seeing an inmate walk down a road just having a bad day and a dog walk up with big ears and tail waging turn him into just a ball of bubble gum I guess you could say," according to West.
The program and the shelter are in jeopardy of shutting down if they can't raise enough money by the end of January. They are in dire need of donations and need to raise about $50,000 to operate the shelter daily and pay for the T.A.I.L.S. program. If you would like to help you can go to their website and make a tax deductible donation, http://www.hsnefl.org .
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