• Operation Second Chance celebrates 2 years of success


    GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.,None - The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office is celebrating the great success of a jail dog program which is now in its second anniversary.

    Operation Second Chance started in February 2010. The program saves the lives of dogs who are lined up to be put to sleep at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter.

    "We bring them over and an inmate is assigned as a primary trainer, and there is a second inmate assigned as a secondary trainer. They work with the dog. The dog sleeps in the cell with the primary trainer and is with them 24 hours a day, so they get a lot of attention, a lot of training time during that time period," Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway said.

    Conway said the program has had a lot of success over the last two years.

    To date, the program has saved 111 dogs. There are currently 17 dogs in the program.

    "Everybody's very well behaved in here. They really appreciated the program and they appreciate what it does for them and what it does for the dog. It's been great," Conway said.

    Through the program, inmates learn to groom and care for the animals. The sheriff's office said inmates also learn social and vocational skills that will help them become more productive citizens once they are released from jail.

    "I've seen some of the meanest, most dangerous looking inmates you can imagine rolling on the floor with a dog and communicating with an inmate beside him that he wouldn't have spoken to a month prior," Conway said.

    The care, food, training and vet services for the dogs are provided through volunteers and the Society of Humane Friends.

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