Dogs trained by Dallas County Jail inmates up for adoption
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas County Jail recently released 10 four-legged inmates.
The Dallas Morning News reports they’re the first group of dogs to make it through the Home for Hounds program at the jail.
Approved by county commissioners last August, the program pairs Grand Prairie animal shelter dogs with inmates who train them for five weeks.
Seven out of the 10 dogs have been adopted, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez announced Wednesday. Three dogs — T-Bone, Skippy and Kia — still need a home.
“It does us no good to change two lives — the human life and the animal life — if we can’t produce the effects” and get every dog adopted, Valdez said.
Kia and Skippy showed off in the dog run behind the jail Wednesday. They played in a plastic kiddie pool, chased balls and showed dog liaison officers their best sit-and-stay techniques.
The program has benefits beyond the dogs, some of whom have been in the shelter for more than four weeks. The inmates are also given a chance to rehabilitate, and when the five weeks are over, they receive their dog handler certification.
“This is a program that has changed lives,” Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia said. “This is a program that is criminal justice reform in the best way.”
Five new dogs are going through the program at the jail and had one more week until they graduate from their training, according to Danielle Tate, animal services manager in Grand Prairie. As soon as those five leave the jail, the animal shelter will determine the next batch of five dogs to spend their time with the inmates.
Tate said the dogs are chosen because they’re the most difficult to get adopted, often because they’re not puppies anymore and need some extra training.
Both T-Bone and Skippy were initially adopted but were taken back to the shelter because they weren’t a good fit for the families, Tate said. Kia had a home trial with a family but was returned.
“It just goes to show that even though they are trained and a good dog, the right fit has to be there,” Tate said.
Anyone interested in adoptions can contact Grand Prairie Animal Services .
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com