As you have read more than once here at racehorsemeds.com, greyhound racing is beginning to close up shot all around the United States. This includes the state of Arizona. And because of that end, many greyhounds are going to need a home. This is why the program in Arizona that allows inmates to prepare retired greyhounds for adopting families.
Currently, more than a dozen inmates at Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Arizona spend much of their days working with former racing greyhounds to understand new commands.
The Inmates are Part of a Program
The inmates and dogs are part of a unique program that allows the inmates at the private prison to rehabilitate and train the canines and prepare the dogs to go home with accepting families.
“Our primary purpose here is to take those K9s and socialize them and get them ready for adoption, and we’ve been doing that through an inmate work program,” Warden Todd Thomas said
Racing Home Greyhound Adoption, a Phoenix-based nonprofit dedicated to finding racing greyhounds homes, started the program in 2009. It has been quite a success and there are programs quite similar in other facilities all around the country.
Some racing greyhounds are confined in small cages for much of their lives, according to Massachusetts-based Grey2K USA. The advocacy group says greyhound racing is still legal and operating currently in six U.S. states. Arizona has prohibited live greyhound racing since 2017, according to the group. Freeing the dogs from that kind of life should make everyone feel good.
How the Dogs Affect the Inmates
The prison, operated by private prison company CoreCivic, houses inmates mostly from Hawaii. Officials say the program not only helps the greyhounds, but it gives the inmates an outlet for their troubles. It is therapeutic for the inmates. The dogs it has been said, have a serious calming effect.
“The love that they give me inside of this place is, you know, second to none,” said Marwan Jackson, who is serving time for manslaughter. “We don’t really don’t have no intimacy … and they kinda fill that void.”
He said taking care of the animals has helped him grow because it teaches responsibility and patience.
Inmate David Parker, who was convicted of murder, said he has lived more than half of his life behind bars. He said he can relate to his dog, Crusher.
“We wake up, and we look out the window and we see bars,” he said. “He wakes up, and he sees his bars. I think I’ve grown and matured since that time and hopefully become a better person in people’s eyes.”
Inmate Parker, who has trained more than thirty-three dogs, said the inmates live with the dogs 24 hours a day. The cells have kennels equipped with blankets and toys. The dogs are taken out and walked on the prison grounds several times of day.
“We take care of them,” he said. “We’re responsible for everything about their entire lives, and you can’t help but be bonded with every dog that comes in.”
The dogs usually spend about three to four months in the program before they get to be placed in a new home. The inmates say how hard it is to see their dogs have to go, but they usually get a new dog to train almost right away.
What a great story to see how these greyhounds have a purpose after their racing days. We here at racehorsemeds.com are happy to hear that these dogs are going on to a good life with people that will care for them.
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