Inmates help prepare shelter dogs for adoption - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Inmates help prepare shelter dogs for adoption

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Prisoners in Johnson County are helping to prepare shelter dogs for adoption, but the program is doing much more than that. 

 "I was a selfish individual and this has kind of let me see that life's not about me in a lot of aspects," says Josh, an inmate. 

The shelter dog program started in January at the Iowa Medical Classification Center in Coralville. 

Iowa City Animal Services teamed up with the prison to make the program happen. 

"It's really good because you know this dog can go out there and love someone else but then they leave and kind of, it tears you up a little bit," says Jerry, an inmate. 

The program also helps them learn responsibility. 
"They're all taking the dogs out right now to use the restroom and it's pouring rain," says Captain Kathy Eschen with the Iowa Medical Classification Center. 

It's a way to help the inmates get ready for life after they are released. 

"That's what really, it's cool and that's what makes it bigger than just the shelter dogs, of course I love the shelter dog part of it but it's, it is bigger than that," says Liz Ford, Animal Services Supervisor. 

We are told it's a win win for all involved. 

 "If you want to do the right things start right now by doing right things, and dogs give you great opportunities to do that," says Terry, an inmate. 

The program is fully funded by sponsors and the inmates themselves who work to raise the money, it's the first of it's kind in Johnson County.

In addition to shelter dogs inmates at the Iowa Medical Classification Center work with dogs that stay permanently and become therapy dogs at the prison, as well as dogs that will go to those in need for example they are working with one now that will be placed with an autistic child. 

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