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Dogs get second chance with inmate training at Charlotte County jail

Dogs get second chance with inmate training at Charlotte County jail

By Emily Dishnow. CREATED Apr 18, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 18, 2012

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -The Charlotte County jail has three new inmates tonight, but these ones won't be wearing the orange jump-suit , despite the slobbering and barking, they're really being given a second chance at life.

Three pups may all be the same color, but that's not the only thing they have in common. Oscar, Toby and Shila are being given a second chance at life.

"They get obedience trained, and they get brought back to good physical health," says Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Cameron.

All three dogs, abandoned, neglected and left at the Suncoast humane society, have been chosen to take part in the cell dog program.

"Each dog is assigned to two inmates," says Sheriff Cameron, "in case one of them gets out early, the other one can carry the torch."

Sheriff Cameron says the program does wonders for the inmates

"It has a calming effect in the facility, it gives the inmates something very good to give back to society," Sheriff Cameron says.

But if you ask the inmates, it's all about the animal

 "It's really all about the dogs," says Mark, the inmate assigned to Shila the dog. "It's not about the inmates, it's about giving the dogs a second chance, a new home and keeping them from being put to sleep."

The six inmates were trained, on how to train their dogs. For two months, they will care for their new pet around the clock, until they're adopted out. And anyone involved will tell you, it's not just the dogs that are being given a second chance.