This week 3 dogs graduated from a 10-week training program at Eastern Correctional Institution. Like their inmate trainers, the dogs come from different back grounds. Many of the pets were abandoned or abused, and all were scheduled to be euthanized. In the program, their trainers used only positive, reward-based methods to teach them. Organizers say that helps the inmates too.
"The inmate trainers learn to handle problems, resolve problems, train dogs without using any force whatsoever," said Linda Monico of New Levels Dog Training.
One of the dogs has WITN meteorologist Jim Howard to thank. Jim found Texas Pete near death in his front yard a couple months ago. Vets nursed Pete back to health before starting the program.