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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: Jan. 18, 2005 Phone: (919) 716-3700

Prison dog training program expands to Cabarrus Correctional Center

MT. PLEASANT - Cabarrus Correctional Center today welcomed three dogs that will be a part of A New Leash on Life – Prison Dog Training Program. The program being is piloted at Cabarrus CC as well as five other prisons. It gives inmates a chance to perform community service work by teaching dogs to be good adoptive pets and companions to citizens.

The program allows prison facilities to partner with local animal shelters and animal rescue agencies. Cabarrus CC partnered with The Humane Society of Concord & Greater Cabarrus County.

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

The inmates will be paid an incentive wage of between 70 cents and $1.00 a day. Since the dogs will need daily care, the inmates will be paid seven days a week.

The prisons have carefully selected six inmates who will participate in the program. The inmates must have sex related offenses or history of cruelty to animals. They must have enough time remaining on their sentence to complete one cycle of the program. They also must not commit any rules infractions for at least 90 days and must remain infraction free while in the program.

Site preparation costs for the dogs at Cabarrus was less than $100. The Humane Society of Concord & Greater Cabarrus County will provide supplies and veterinary services for the dogs. Some non-profit groups have already expressed an interest in donating dog food and supplies.

Two other prisons, Marion Minimum Security Unit and Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women, have been piloting the program since May 2004. Three other prisons will have kickoff events this month.

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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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