October 31st, 2009

Animals helping people helping animals

Some of the inmates at Oregon's Coffee Creek prison raise guide dogs for the blind. Today I read about a program on the Oregon coast. The Lincoln County sheriffs department runs the local animal shelter as well as the local jail.

An article in the Oregonian says:
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"Now in its third year, the program was started by Lincoln County Sheriff Dennis Dotson, who saw as it a solution to the endless need for more hands at the shelter, which his officers runs. He and his staff came up with a list of strict criteria about who would be eligible, ruling out anyone with a history of violence, anyone who might be an escape risk and those with behavioral problems.

And no second chances. "They make a mistake or don't follow the rules, that's it," says Dotson. ... It has turned out to exceed all our expectations."

While it's a relatively new program in Lincoln County, inmates have been working with animals in Jackson County for a quarter of a century.

"I can't say enough good about it," says Colleen Macuk , program manager at the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

"It gives the inmates something they really look forward to doing," she says. "It makes them feel they've achieved something at the end of the day, and it allows us to offer the animal better hands on care by having the extra crew."
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What a great idea, good for both man and beast.

Read more about it here. .



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