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Michael F. Easley

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Theodis Beck

North Carolina Department of Correction

For Release: IMMEDIATE Contact: Pamela Walker
Date: March 13, 2003 Phone: (919) 716-3733

Inmates to help train puppies for the blind

McCAIN- McCain Correctional Hospital staff, inmates and Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. have joined forces to provide seeing eye dogs to the blind. A select group of minimum-custody inmates will be a part of a new program called Puppies Assisting With Sight (PAWS).

Correctional staff and the inmates will work with staff from Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. to teach basic obedience, house training and socialization to the puppies. After 12 months with the inmates, the dogs will return to Southeasternís home office in Florida for six months training in guiding the blind. Each dog that completes the training will be partnered with a blind person at no cost.

There will be media availability following a ribbon cutting at McCain Correctional Hospital on Wednesday, March 19 for those who wish to interview program participants and obtain photographs and video of the inmates working with the puppies. Reporters and photographers should be present at the prison at 11 a.m. and should bring a valid photo ID.

NOTE: If you plan to attend, please notify the Public Information Office at (919) 716-3700.

DIRECTIONS: Take U.S. 1 to Southern Pines, then N.C. 211 south to McCain. Look for signs marking the turn off NC 211 to McCain Correctional Hospital.

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North Carolina Department of Correction
Public Information Office     4202 Mail Service Center     Raleigh NC 27699-4202
Phone (919) 716-3700      Fax: (919) 716-3795

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