‘New Leash on Life’ allowing shelter dogs find a new home

VANCEBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – Shelter dogs in the area are on their way to a forever home thanks to some inmates. The new “New Leash on Life” program allows inmates to train dogs to help them get adopted faster.

“This program has helped me deal with the stressful environment of being incarcerated,” trainer Darryl Cobb said.

The new “Leash on Life” program gives inmates the opportunity to give abandoned shelter dogs basic obedience training.

Each day, inmates at the Craven Correctional Institution walk, feed, and instruct the dogs.

The job is a hot commodity. Inmates can’t have any infractions and people who are in the facility for certain crimes aren’t allowed to train the dogs.

Cobb, a trainer and inmate, believes the program helps his outlook on life. Cobb said, “By being with them, nothing else bothers me.”

A new team of dogs and trainers graduate from the program every eight weeks.

“They can be dog trainers. Once they’re released, they can work in kennels,” program supervisor Sherry Mitchell said.

The inmates aren’t the only ones who get something out of this program. The goal is to find furry friends a forever home.

“These animals were in a kill shelter, and if we didn’t rehabilitate them and get them re-adopted, then it’s a possibility of these animals being killed,” said Cobb.

Program coordinators hope people will consider adopting these dogs because they now have obedience training. Inmates said the program is awesome and they hope it will continue. They said the program is a “win-win” for both them and the canines.

“It helps the prisoners look forward to each day being in here, because you know that you have to get up, and go feed the dog, go walk the dog,” said Cobb.

The program runs solely on donations. It started in 2005, and over 100 dogs have been adopted. The correctional facility partners with the Craven/Pamlico Animal Shelter.

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