Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dogs graduate from inmate training program

From The Almanac

Four dogs graduated from a unusual inmate training program in Redwood City this week and are ready to be adopted, shelter officials said.

The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA chose four dogs whose adoption potential was questionable and enrolled them in the Transitioning Animals Into Loving Situations, or TAILS, program at a minimum-security facility operated by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

Participating inmates receive instruction from PHS/SPCA trainers on how to train the dogs in a weekly class. The inmates are responsible for the dogs' homework, clean-up, socialization, grooming, and exercise outside of the weekly class.

The eight-week program gives the dogs much-needed attention and provides the inmates with a meaningful pastime to develop skills, according to program officials.

"We have wonderful behavior programs at the shelter, but since our dog population often exceeds 200, we can't give every dog the undivided attention and controlled environment some need to control their issues. TAILS provides this," said Maria Eguren, behavior and training manager for the PHS/SPCA in a statement.

The graduating canines range in age from 8 months to 4 years and include a border collie, a terrier mix, a pit bull, and a large mix.

"Whoever adopts these dogs will be bringing real treasures into their home. Honestly, our biggest challenge is finding permanent homes as good as the one they've enjoyed in the past eight weeks," PHS/SPCA spokesman Scott Delucchi said in a statement.

Anyone interested in adopting a dog is asked to call (650) 340-7022 ext. 306.

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