Program offering a new leash on life

Posted at 7:28 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 22:23:42-05

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. -- Some of the dogs came in with mange and mites. You could call them rough around the edges, but inmate William Smith says calling these dogs unadoptable could send them to an early grave.

"We have five pit bulls from an animal rescue out of Loxahatchee, Florida," Smith explained. "What we're doing is we're trying to save them from euthanization. We're taking them and giving them basic training."

For 12 weeks inmates at the Okeechobee Work Camp live, sleep and eat with the dogs. They build a bond of trust with one another.

"It was pretty strong you know you. My best friend, keeps me out of trouble," Smith said. "They don't talk back and it's fun to learn and see the different training that these dogs get. They're like every other dog it just takes time and patience. They're loving, they're not as mean as everybody thinks they are. They're lovable animals they like to cuddle."

The dogs at the camp have been in the program for three weeks and are still learning. By the time they leave they'll sit, stay and receive an AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate.
but more importantly they'll leave having learned what it's like to be loved.

"A little sadness, but I'm happy at the same time that they're going to go to a better place than where they were and the dogs are going to a good home."

To adopt dogs form the program contact the Loxahatchee Animal Rescue Community at 561-723-8197 or click here.