Graduates From Prison Dog Training Program Looking For Forever Homes

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John Mottern and Anat James, are seen here with their dog Stella, also from the Greyhound Friends program.

Two former inmates from a Kentucky prison arrived in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

No need to fret, however, this pair has clean records and manners to match. They’re exceptional fetch players as well.

Oscar, an older bearded collie, and Sammy, a black Labrador mix puppy, arrived at the Greyhound Friends kennel, following weeks at Camp Canine – a special training program at a correctional facility in Kentucky.

The Luther Luckett Correctional Facility allows fourteen inmates to work with a dozen shelter dogs as they train them to be obedient. Some of the inmates involved with the program are serving life sentences, however, none have been convicted of domestic abuse or animal cruelty.

The goal of the training program is to prepare the dogs for adoption, while saving them from the unfortunate reality of euthanization.

“Where we live there’s an enormous pet overpopulation problem,” said Jennifer Watkins, Kentucky’s Shamrock Greyhounds shelter director. “Almost every county has to euthanize weekly. Thousands of dogs never get adopted and die.”

During the obedience training at the correctional facility, the dogs learn house-training and simple commands like “sit”, “come”, “lie down” and “stay”. The dogs also go through socialization training as well. Following completion of the program, the dogs are tested with the Canine Good Citizen test, which is nationally recognized.

“The inmate handlers actually get the ability to care for something. … Some of them have never had that opportunity to care for anything,” said Sherry Taylor, the correctional unit administrator who oversees the dog training program. “You have had several guys that really do get something from every dog that they have trained … and it does benefit the local community, not having to put down dogs.”

“Families are changing a bit in today’s time,” Lisanne Mikan, director of the Humane Society in Oldham County, Kentucky, said. “Now you can adopt a dog, it’s housetrained, it’s past chewing … It’s just kind of nice with everybody’s really busy lifestyle. It doesn’t get much easier than this to adopt a perfect dog.”

Each dog who participates in the program are spayed or neutered, and up to date with their vaccinations.
“The prison program dogs are in big demand,” said Greyhound Friends’ founder Louise Coleman, “The Boston Animal Rescue League takes them as fast as they come in …It’s a more sought-after pet.”

Coleman stated that Sammy and Oscar will only be in Hopkinton, MA for about a week.

Anyone interested in adopting either dog can head to or call 1-508-435-5969.