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Inmates train dogs from Humane Society

Inmates train dogs from Humane Society

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Nov 3, 2011

NAPLES - Maggie and Chance will soon be on their best behavior.  That's after female inmates at the Collier County jail teach them right from wrong.

"They're doing all the puppy basics, sit down, stay, wait, walk nicely with a leash, crate training, house breaking," said Jeannie Bates, Director of Training and Behavior for the Naples Humane Society.

The Collier County Sheriff's office just introduced this new program on Thursday. It's called Second Chance Cell Dog Program. They work with the Naples Humane Society to place shelter dogs with carefully selected inmates.

"Inmates are very well screened. They don't have violent pasts or tendencies. A mental health counselor is also involved with our program daily," said Beth Richards, Collier County Jail.

Each dog is living with 2 inmates in a housing cell. Currently, there are four puppies at the jail, 3 golden retrievers and a boxer. The puppies will be house trained and taught discipline, increasing the animal's chance at finding a permanent home.

"Having this program where they are always with somebody and getting socialized to loud noises and different things, it's great for the puppies so they become highly adoptable," said Michael Simonik, Executive Director for the Humane Society Naples.

Not only is this a plus for the dogs, but the hope is these inmates learn job skills and how to give back to the community.

"They are more willing to work. They are working hard with these puppies and showing more initiative and concentration," said Bates.

These dogs are at the jail for 8 to 16 weeks. After training, they go back to the Humane Society for adoption. The idea is these dogs will be very well behaved.

To learn more about the adoption process, contact the Humane Society of Naples at 239.775.1660.