Dogs, An Inmate's Best Friend

Giving an in inmate a dog to train is probably one of the most brilliant ideas ever thought. There is this scheme called "CellMates" which gives prisoners of Fulton County Jail, Atlanta the opportunity to train a rescue dog.

Susan Jacobs-Meadows Executive Director or Canine CellMates strongly support this plan, especially after witnessing its positive effects on both the dog and the inmate. "Most of these guys gave up believing that there was very much of value to them a long time ago. But when that dog loves them and trusts them that starts to change how they feel about themselves."

In this scheme, they are required to be cell buddies for eight months, requiring them to be together 24 hours and seven days a week. Most of the dogs have no prior training. It's the prisoner's job to train them. It is normal for these dogs to be nervous around a new foster parent but each prisoner manages to ease them into trusting them.

One of the prisoners said: "The bond that me and Fred have...He came to a place where he was going to be put to death and I came from a place that was on the bad side. If Fred can have an opportunity to go to a good home and he can change, that makes me want to change the environment that I’m in. That means I can do better also."

With the number of rescue dogs in shelters, extending this scheme to other County Jail would prove to be beneficial.

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