Non-Profit Sentences At-Risk Shelter Dogs to 12 Weeks Behind Bars

At-risk dogs with severe behavioral issues are now being sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. The reason why might surprise you!

New Leash on Life USA, a groundbreaking non-profit with a heartwarming mission, has partnered up with state prisons to give at-risk shelter dogs a second chance.

So how does this program work? Eligible dogs are taken out of the shelters and transported into a local prison. The dogs are then teamed up with a trained inmate who will serve as their primary caregiver. These inmates are responsible for everything from the first potty break in the morning to putting them in their crate at night.

With the help of the inmates, and over a series of 12 weeks, the dogs learn basic manners and obedience.

They’ll also learn how to trust and love.

While at the surface the program seems to be focused on the dogs, the inmates benefit greatly from being partnered with an at-risk pup. New Leash inmates learn how to train and care for the dogs, thus building skills, confidence and future employability. Through working with the dogs, inmates learn a sense of responsibility and unconditional love.

New Leash provides inmates with weekly sessions with professional trainers, animal behaviorists, and veterinary technicians. The inspiring program even sets inmates up with internship opportunities in the animal care field when the are finally released on parole.

After the 12 weeks, each inmate-dog team attends a ceremony. Hand in paw, they graduate and receive a certificate of accomplishment for all of their progress and hard work.

As you may imagine, graduation day is emotional for the inmates, rescue workers, family and friends.

Saying goodbye

Posted by New Leash on Life USA on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

According to New Leash’s website, by 2014, thirty dogs from the program were adopted into forever homes and over 90% of the inmates who graduated from the program qualified for paid internships upon their release.

The New Leash on Life USA says it best: “By rescuing each other, both human and canine graduates of the New Leash program can look ahead to bright and successful futures”