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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: February 1, 2005 Phone: (919) 716-3700

Caledonia inmates to train shelter dogs for adoption

TILLERY- Caledonia Correctional Institution today welcomed three dogs toA New Leash on Life - Prison Dog Training Program.” The program is being piloted at Caledonia CI and five other prisons, giving inmates a chance to perform community service by teaching dogs to make them more adoptable pets and good companions to citizens.

The program allows prison facilities to partner with local shelters and animal rescue agencies. Caledonia CI has partnered with Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR) in Scotland Neck.  A certified canine trainer from the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office will teach the inmates how to train the dogs.

The inmates will spend eight weeks working with dogs that have been selected by DEAR, teaching basic obedience, house training and socialization through positive reinforcement and repetition. Commands such as sit, stay, come, heel, and down will be taught as well as walking on- and off-leash, and paying attention to their trainers. 

The inmates will be paid an incentive wage 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 no current or past convictions for sex offenses or cruelty to animals. They must have enough time remaining on their sentence to complete at least one program training cycle. To be considered for the program, they must not commit any rules infractions for at least 90 days and they must remain infraction free while in the program.

All the materials for housing the dogs as well as food and supplies have been donated. Lowe’s Home Improvement donated dog houses, while Commercial Builders of Rocky Mount donated the concrete used to build the outdoor kennels. Wal-Mart of Roanoke Rapids donated various dog care supplies. DEAR will continue to provide additional supplies and veterinary services for the dogs.

Two other prisons, Marion Minimum Security Unit and Black Mountain Correctional Center for Women, have been piloting the program since May 2004. Cabarrus Correctional Center, Craven Correctional Institution and Bladen Correctional Center have started the program in recent weeks.

Note: For information on all the prisons participating in “A New Leash on Life – Prison Dog Training Program contact Pamela Walker in the Public Affairs Office at (919) 716-3700.

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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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