Program allows inmates to train dogs at Fulton County Jail - KMSP-TV

Program allows inmates to train dogs at Fulton County Jail

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -

Man's best friend is helping to change lives through a unique program at the Fulton County Jail. Inmates are working with Fulton County Animal Services to train dogs who would otherwise be euthanized.

The Canine Cellmates program offers a second chance for dogs set to be put down and a new lease on life for their handlers.

"Making me want to do something more with my life by getting in this program.  Hopefully I can change this dog's life and change mine at the same time," said Sesar King, a program participant.

Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson implemented the jail dog program, which is only program of its kind in Atlanta, and one of the few such partnerships in the country. Program director Susan Jacobs-Meadows says Canine Cellmates has a proven track record.

"In every facility that has implemented a program like this, what they have seen is a lowered incidence of violence within the facility and a drastically lowered recidivism rate from the inmates released from a program like this," said Jacobs-Meadows.

Inmates taking part in the eight week program will train shelter dogs, teaching them the skills they need to become candidates for permanent adoption.

The goal is to minimize recidivism and improve the lives of inmates while saving dogs from euthanasia in Fulton County.

"There's something about dealing with a dog that brings about positive changes in people," said Jacobs-Meadows.
    
Some of the inmates say they had dogs as pets at one time, so they said it makes this opportunity even more special.

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