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Inmates learn dog training skills, get emotional support thanks to pet program

Posted at 8:22 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 20:22:21-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — The Humane Society of Valdosta has found a way to give dogs and inmates a new meaning of life.

Hamilton Hounds' "New Leash on Life Program" was created to give dogs that were labeled un-adoptable a chance to find a fur-ever home.

Inmates from the Hamilton Correctional Facility in Jasper, Fla. are learning dog training skills along with receiving emotional support.

Lead dog handler with the Humane Society of Valdosta Lowndes County Tori Grindle said this experience is changing how they see their lives.

"The very first day I kind of talked to them and I'm like 'you know what you guys are doing here is pretty incredible and you're really saving these dogs lives,'" said Grindle. "Like you're giving them a real chance of a home of a family one that they might not have had before and that same guy told me that he was like I know you said that we're saving their lives but really I think they're saving ours."

The inmates teach a 10-week program to get the dogs in shape for adoption.

They learn commands, behavioral techniques, and social skills.

Once the program is finished the dogs will graduate, hopefully, find a home, and a new set of dogs arrive to be trained.