Missouri program helps shelter dogs and prison inmates

2 years 1 week 1 day ago April 18, 2015 Apr 18, 2015 Saturday, April 18 2015 Saturday, April 18, 2015 1:38:15 PM CDT in News
By: Jim Salter, The Associated Press

BONNE TERRE (AP) - Missouri's Puppies for Parole program has marked a big milestone: 3,000 adoptions.

Missouri Department of Corrections director George Lombardi started the program five years ago. It pairs shelter dogs with inmates at 19 Missouri prisons, who train the dogs over an eight-week period to get them ready for adoption. A ceremony marking the 3,000th adoption was Thursday at the prison in Bonne Terre.

Most dogs are adopted quickly, often by prison staff members who fall in love with them during the training process.

Prison officials and inmates alike say the program is as beneficial for inmates as for the dogs, teaching them life lessons in compassion and caring.

Several other states have similar program, sparing thousands of shelter dogs from euthanasia or life in a cage.

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