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Partnership gives inmates and dogs a “new leash on life”

A partnership between three organizations will soon give inmates new skills and shelter dogs a second chance. 

Jessamine County Animal Care and Control is partnering with Friends of the Animals of Jessamine County and the Blackburn Correctional Complex, located in Northern Fayette County, to create an inmate and shelter dog training program — BarkBurn a New Leash on Life.

For eight weeks, inmates at Blackburn Correctional Complex will teach basic obedience skills to 10 different dogs from Jessamine County, said Frank Ruggiero, Deputy Director of the JCACC. 

The dogs — ranging in breeds, sizes and ages — will come from Jessamine County Animal Care and Control and Friends of the Animals of Jessamine County.

Inmates will provide various types of training, including crate training, house training and how to walk on a leash properly. Partners of the programs will visit twice a week for three to four hours a day to check on progress. 

“There will be weekly assignments,” Ruggiero said. “We will come back and check on the progress of the training and have grooming, health and welfare check-ups. Also, there is a veterinarian that is volunteering their time a couple hours a week to come in as well.”

The dogs were taken to the facility for the first time on Wednesday. 

Those interested in helping the program can do so by donating new or gently used crates, treats, leashes, collars, toys, paper towels and canine waste bags.

For more information, call or visit the Jessamine County Animal Care and Control.

“This program can help the dogs get adopted by getting them trained,” Ruggiero said.