New Leash on Life

Published 1:53 am Friday, February 6, 2009

By Staff
Inmates to train shelter dogs for adoption
Lifestyles &Features Editor
Two dogs from Beaufort County Animal Control will soon join an ongoing training program at Craven Correctional Institute.
Annie and Socrates, current residents of the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility in Washington, will become part of the “New Leash on Life” program Feb. 18.
The program encourages dogs to interact socially, making them better candidates for adoption, according to Sandy Woolard, chief animal control officer for Beaufort County.
During the eight-week program, select inmates will teach the dogs standard obedience, house training and socialization. Dogs are also taught to walk on- and off-leash and respond to basic commands.
Ginny Symkowiak, a longtime animal advocate and board member of the Beaufort County Humane Society said the program benefits everyone involved.
Inmates participating in the program will learn a marketable trade and serve communities by training dogs to be well-behaved pets.
Annie and Socrates will live in the prison for eight weeks and be assigned to specific inmates, Symkowiak said.
The animal facility is already taking adoption applications for Annie and Socrates in anticipation of finding them new homes.
Annie is a 1-year-old female Plott Hound and is described as “very sweet, gentle and affectionate.” Annie has been spayed, and her shots are up to date.
Socrates is a one-year-old male Boxer-mix hound, who has been neutered and whose shots are up to date. He is described as “friendly, energetic and affectionate.”
According to animal control officers, prospective pet owners should be able to provide a home that offers plenty of room for dogs to run and play. And matching the personalities of the pet with those of prospective owners is an important part of the adoption process.
Training an animal is a commitment, Symkowiak said.
*The Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility is located at 3931 Highway 264 East in Washington. For more information about adopting Annie, Socrates or any animals at the facility, call (252) 946-4517.
Cutline for corresponding photo: Ginny Symkowiak, a volunteer with Beaufort County Animal Control, plays with Annie, one of two dogs that will enter a training program at Craven Correctional Institute. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)