We have had lots of people asking us about the Jaildogs programme this last couple of days, as so many of you saw mention of it on the messages on our facebook page and also saw pictures of Hoss and Hank, the two dogs we’ll be working with here at the ranch.
I thought I would just give you some brief details so that you can understand why, when we were asked, we literally jumped at the chance to be involved in this worthwhile programme.
Quite simply, the jaildogs programme is the absolute win win situation for behaviour modification for both humans and canines. Inmates at the jail are carefully screened before they can enter the programme to ensure their suitability to work with the animals, and those allowed to be a part of it then work with dogs that are pulled from Gwinnett Animal Control, learning to care for them, train them, feed them and live with them side by side.
Those of you who understand the concept of hospital therapy dogs and the benefit this has on patients will already grasp the importance of this programme and how life changing it can be; in this case, however, its even more important, because we are not just talking about reducing stress levels and providing a focus of calm love and companionship at the hospital. The jaildogs programme is literally about saving lives in a very direct and immediate way.
Because of overcrowding and the sheer numbers of dogs being given up or left to go stray, Animal Control simply cannot house them all and so many have to be euthanised, which sadly encompasses even good dogs. Its a situation that cant be helped while people dont bother to spay and neuter their dogs, train them or build good fences [bit of a soap box issue of mine..].
‘Jaildogs’ picks dogs that show potential and removes them from Animal Control to be entered into the programme at the jail, where they have one inmate as full time handler and then two back up handlers. The dogs get a lovely comfy bed to sleep on in a warm caring environment, good food and treats, and are trained every day for hours, to make them highly adoptable. They work with different handlers in case prisoners get moved or go home, but also so that it gives them exposure to being well behaved for lots of different handlers, a huge plus for a dog that will be rehomed.
Local trainers generously give up their time to get involved in this programme and show the inmates how to handle the dogs’ training in a calm, positive way.
Those of you who adopted dogs during times of stress in your life know only too well the incredible benefits of doing so; the unconditional love and support is a lifesaver for so many people…for the inmates, they learn new skills, get to work and live with someone who is never going to judge them, care what theyve done, only what they DO and how they care, and for the dogs they get to be worked on by the most focused handlers in the world..people who live, eat, breathe and sleep the positive nurturing of their charges.
What an amazing programme, and its happening right here on your doorstep.
Like most things, the jaildogs programme needs funds to survive and succeed so please, if you can, make a donation to them…go to jaildogs.org for details of how to donate using Paypal. It doesnt matter how small your donation is, every little helps..