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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: April 1, 2005 Phone: (919) 716-3713

First dogs trained by inmates heading to new homes

Prison holding graduation ceremony for pilot program


TILLERY -- The Division of Prisons will hold a graduation ceremony on Friday, April 8, for its pilot community service program, “A New Leash on Life – Prison Dog Training,” at Caledonia Correctional Institution.


Caledonia received three dogs from local shelters in January. A select group of inmates has been training the homeless dogs in basic obedience skills to make them more adoptable. All the dogs in this first class are being adopted, and the prison will be receiving another group of dogs to undergo training.


To implement the program, Caledonia Correctional Institution partnered with Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR) in Scotland Neck. A certified canine trainer from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office taught the inmates how to train the dogs.


Journalists may interview program participants and obtain photographs and video of a demonstration showing what the dogs have learned.


Dogs are selected by the humane society and work with the inmates for at least eight weeks to learn basic obedience, house training and socialization through positive reinforcement and repetition. Inmates teach the dogs such commands as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel,” and “down,” as well as walking on a leash, walking off a leash, and paying attention to their trainers.


GRADUATION LOCATION:         Caledonia Correctional Institution

                                                            State Road 1141

                                                            Tillery, NC 27887


Take I-95 north to Halifax County and exit onto N.C. 481. Take N.C. 481 for about 18 miles through Enfield to Tillery. At Tillery, take county road 1141 and drive past Tillery Correctional Center to Caledonia Correctional Institution 4.5 miles northeast of town.


DATE & TIME:         April 8, 2005 @ 11 am

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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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