About us: The Piedmont Animal Welfare Alliance is a proud member of the A New Leash on Life program. A New Leash on Life offers both humans and canines a new chance, helping inmates become productive members of society, and offering dogs the necessary training to be welcome members of a family. Inmates get a sense of pride and self-esteem, and a marketable skill. Perhaps best of all, inmates learn patience and compassion, and both men and dogs learn how to give and receive unconditional love. To learn even more about us, check out our FaceBook page!
Overview: The North Carolina Department Public Safety, prisons division, has New Leash on Life programs at a number of prisons throughout the state. They partner with an animal welfare agency, or agencies, to make the program work. The minimum-security Forsyth Correctional Facility in Winston-Salem has had a program since 2009. It is currently going through reorganization
Homeless dogs are paired with qualifying prisoners, and receive socialization, crate-training, basic obedience skills, and agility training.
Inmates must go through an extensive application process before being approved into the program. Qualifying inmates work with professional dog trainers, and learn positive-reinforcement training methods. For ten weeks, the dogs live and work with the inmate-trainers, sleeping in a special Doggie Dorm at night. After “graduating” from the program, the dogs are ready to become the newest member of an adoptive family, and another dog is teamed with an inmate trainer.
The first class of three dogs arrived at the Department of Correction on April 7, 2009. Since then, dozens and dozens of dogs–and many, many inmates–have been given a “new leash on life.”