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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

PCF acquires quartet of new greyhounds for programming

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcoming four new greyhounds to the Putnamville Correctional Facility program are (from left) offender Edgar Sanchez with Sing Song, offender Rusty LaFleur with Zach, offender Thomas Brandy with Skids, and offender William Denton with Wizard.
PUTNAMVILLE -- Four new former racing dogs have been accepted recently at Putnamville Correctional Facility in connection with the facility's Prison Greyhound Program.

The greyhounds -- named Sing Song, Zach, Skids and Wizard -- have been delivered to PCF in the hopes of giving the retired racing dogs a second chance at life.

With an ultimate goal of adoption into loving families, the four retired racers are taught socialization skills that will help them adapt to a normal canine's life. For temporary fostering and integration, the facility has specially chosen offender handlers who are with the dogs on a 24/7 basis for approx three months, PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight explained.

Some of the simplicities of the curriculum made for these retirees are going up and down steps, learning how to behave around new people and large numbers of offenders, and being walked on leashes without a muzzle around other dogs.

The offenders teach them main commands that the average family pet should know such as sit, shake and lie down. The greyhounds often have spent much of their time in kennels when racing and therefore their normal daily activities have to be adjusted for life in a family home setting.

The greyhounds are not the only recipients of this program. The offenders who participate in the Prison Greyhound Program are subjected to unconditional love, team building and they learn responsibility, Knight noted.

Idleness becomes minimal in the housing units while offenders are busy making sure their dogs are walked, worked with and exercised within a short period of time. Prison officials note that a soothing atmosphere is often created among the prison population and the program aids in the offenders learning job skills that can help them regain employment upon re-entry into our communities.

"Animals play an important role in our lives," Knight said. "They can provide us service and security as well as create a positive atmosphere not only in our homes, but at our places of work."

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