Angela: Second chances for stray dogs means second chance for prisoners
If you’ve walked through the kennels of an animal shelter, you can often feel the sadness. Row after row of unwanted dogs and cats discarded like pieces of trash. If you look into their eyes, you can see that somehow they know… know that someone they may have loved doesn’t love them anymore, or that they were never wanted.
If you see them jumping up in their cages trying to get your attention, it may mean these four-legged children of God still have hope. If they just sit quietly staring at you, it probably means they have given up.
So, to walk through a kennel like the one at the Dixon Correctional Institute 30 miles north of Baton Rouge and see happy, enthusiastic dogs of all ages and sizes, you have to wonder what’s going on.
The answer is simple… they are unwanted dogs who now have people who love and care for them. And, the genius part of this equation…it is the prisoners who are the caregivers… feeding them, cleaning up after them, playing with them, training them, and ultimately, making them more adoptable.
Dixon Correctional has created a second chance for dogs and a second chance for some prisoners, who get certified as shelter workers. Like the animals they care for, they too, may have a happier future.
We talked about this remarkable facility with two people who help run the program; John C. Smith, a Corrections Colonel at Dixon, and Dr. Wendy Wolfson, a professor at LSU veterinary school.
Should we use stray animals to help rehab prisoners? Listen to this show and I’m sure you’ll agree, the answer is YES!
FULL AUDIO: Angela talks about Pen Pals Animal Shelter
Photo via PetsAdvisor.com, Flickr