Ohio Inmate-Dog Matching Program Cuts Violence

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“Death row dogs” that have been saved from the gas chamber are sent to Ohio prisons, where working with them has given a new lease on life to many inmates, says the Washington Post. Ohio’s Tender Loving Care program, pairing strays with inmates, operates in 30 of the state’s 33 prisons. Officials say the introduction of dogs reduces violence. “The dogs have had a quieting effect on the inmate population,” said a deputy warden. “I thought the dogs were going to come in and bite people. But the guys have done a great job. The dogs allow them to be more human.”

One place the program operates is Mansfield, about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus,which is is home to three prisons, including the one where the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed. Brenda Kauffman of the Ashland County Humane Society had no connection with the prison when officials there first approached her about starting the program. “I saw the possibilities,” Kauffman said. “I believe in retraining animals. The more you can do for the dog, the better their lives. A lot of these animals are throwaways.” The dogs live in inmates’ 8-by-10-foot cells, are walked several times each day, and are showered with attention by inmates and guards.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10935-2004Jun2.html

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