MANCI Inmates Give 'Unadoptable' Dogs A Second Chance

  • 1/11/2018 2:55:34 PM
  • WMFD Digital Team
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - The Tender Loving Dog Care program at Mansfield Correctional Institution has been providing a mutually beneficial relationship between inmates and untrained dogs for roughly twenty years.

The program allows a handful of inmates with a history of good behavior to teach basic housebreaking and social skills to dogs who may be considered "unadoptable" or risk being euthanized. Once the dogs complete the program, they can then be adopted by the public.

Everyone involved in the program, from staff to the Humane Society to the inmates, firmly believes that the program is full of benefits. Angie Hunsinger, Deputy Warden of Special Services at ManCI, says that the program is proven to reduce tension and aggression in the inmates who participate and that it is therapeutic. 

Missy Houghton, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Richland County, says that the program works so well that she typically has a handful of people who come in specifically looking for dogs who went through training with the inmates.

We spoke with a few inmates who agreed that participating in the TLDC program gives them something to look forward to and reinforces the importance of learning new skills.

In the training session we attended, Shaun led the group in a circle training exercise. He led the trainers and their dogs by giving various commands as the group walked in a circle. The majority of the canines were very well-behaved and knew to sit when told to sit, lay down when told to lay down, and stay when told to stay. 

Some of the dogs currently in the training program are ones that WMFD has featured as the Pet of the Week at some point, so it was great to see such a behavioral transformation in some of the wilder dogs that we knew from the Humane Society. 

Mansfield Correctional Institution has also recently started another dog training program that specifically trains service animals.

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