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A New
Leash on Life

“A New Leash on Life” is a program that allows minimum and medium custody state prisons to partner with local animal shelters, animal welfare agencies, and/or private non-profit agencies to train dogs in preparation for their adoption.  In turn, the inmates are given a chance to serve the community by training dogs to be well-behaved pets.

Selected dogs are placed with inmate trainers in a prison setting for eight to twelve weeks.  The inmates teach basic obedience, house training, and socialization through positive reinforcement and repetition.  Dogs are taught to walk on and off the leash and to respond to basic commands.

Each prison facility partners with a local partner or sponsor, a volunteer animal trainer, and local merchants or civic organizations that can support the program with needed supplies and services.

There are currently two apprenticeship programs offered to inmates in the New Leash on Life program.  In these programs inmates have the opportunity to receive certified training that will help them obtain a job upon their release from prison.  To obtain apprentice certification through the Department of Labor, an inmate must complete 4000 hours on the job training as well as a total of 288 hours related instruction.  The related instruction is either provided through the community college or the volunteer trainer.  The first apprenticeship is a Dog Trainer Apprenticeship that began in 2007 at Craven CI and has since expanded to include Eastern CI.  The second is an Animal Care Provider Apprenticeship and will begin in 2009 at Brown Creek CI and will allow inmates to complete the on the job training at any of the New Leash on Life facilities. 

 As of March 2, 2011, 1231 dogs have completed the program.  1136 have been adopted immediately following completion of the program for a 92.3% rate of adoption. The dogs not immediately adopted are returned to the community partner for adoption at a later date.

“A New Leash on Life” operates at these facilities.  For more information on adoption of the dogs, please contact the participating community partners. 


A New Leash on Life Facilities and Community Partners



Community Partner

Albemarle Correctional Institution
Badin, NC


Stanley County Humane Society
PO Box 1632
Albemarle, NC 28002
Sharon Gadd or Elaine Richards

Mark Thompson, Volunteer Trainer

Bladen Correctional Center
Elizabethtown, NC


Cape Fear Rescue League
319 West College St.
Whiteville, NC 28472

Pat Lambert


Brown Creek Correctional Institution
Polkton, NC

Information Coming Soon!

Caledonia Correctional Institution
Tillery, NC


Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR)
PO Drawer 40
Scotland Neck, NC 27874


Catawba Correctional Center
Newton, NC


Catawba County Animal Care and Control
PO Box 389
Newton, NC 28658

Craggy Correctional Center
Asheville, NC


Animal Haven of Asheville
PO Box 9697
Asheville, NC 28815

Craven Correctional Institution
Vanceboro, NC

A Dog's Dream 
1819-A Race Track Rd.
New Bern N.C. 28562 

Drake Parker/Top Dog Academy
Greenville, NC 27834

Beaufort County Animal Control
3931 Hwy 264 East
Washington, NC 27889
Sandy Woolard

Craven/Pamlico Animal Shelter
1639 Old Airport Road
New Bern, NC 28561
Kathryn Smith

70 West Veterinary Hospital
310 W Main Street
Havelock, NC 28532
Jeff Ward, DVM 

Pals for Paws
PO Box 14740
New Bern, NC 28561

Eastern Correctional Institution
Maury, NC


Linda Monico/New Levels Dog Training
Greenville, NC 27834

Greene County Animal Control
227 Kingold Boulevard Suite B
Snow Hill, NC 28580
Johnny Exum or Randy Hawkins

Greene County Health Department
227 Kingold Boulevard Suite B
Snow Hill, NC 28580
Linda Sewall

Greene County Animal Partners
Debbie Mooring, Rhonda Moreen, or Trish Mainhart

Foothills Correctional Institution
Foothills Minimum Security Unit

Morganton, NC



Burke County Friends for Animals
417 Kirksey Drive
Morganton, NC 28655|


Forsyth Correctional Center
Winston-Salem, NC


Forsyth Humane Society
61 Miller Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27104

Gaston Correctional Center
Dallas, NC


Gaston Animal Control
220 Leisure Lane
Dallas, NC 28034

Gaston Humane Society
114 Sherrill Road
Gastonia, NC 28052

Piedmont Kennel Club
13607 Choate Circle
Charlotte, NC 28273

Marion Correctional Institution
Marion Minimum Security Unit
Marion, NC


McDowell County Animal Shelter
60 East Court St.
Marion, NC 28752

Mountain View Correctional Institution
Spruce Pine, NC

Avery Humane Society
1824 Stamey Branch Road
Newland, NC 28657
Alice Sudderth
828-733-6312 or 866-473-6312

Nash Correctional Institution
Nashville, NC


Southern Siberian Rescue
PO Box 98601
Raleigh, NC 27624

Down East Animal Refuge (DEAR)
PO Drawer 40
Scotland Neck, NC 27874

New Hanover Correctional Center
Wilmington, NC


Monty’s Home
PO Box 821
Burgaw, NC 28425
Barbara Raab

Pender Correctional Institution
Burgaw, NC  


Monty's Home
PO Box 821
Burgaw, NC 28425
Barbara Raab

Randolph Correctional Center
Asheboro, NC


Randolph County Health Department
2222B South Fayetteville St.
Asheboro, NC 27205
Mimi Cooper

Southern Tails Dog School
613 N. Fayetteville St.
Asheboro, NC 27203
Ally Thomas

Robeson Correction Center
, NC


Robeson County Humane Society
3180 West Fifth St.
Lumberton, NC 28358
Patricia Terrell

Rutherford Correctional Center
Spindale, NC


Rutherford County Animal Protection Alliance
PO Box 623
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women
Black Mountain, NC


Animal Haven of Asheville
PO Box 9697
Asheville, NC 28815


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