Department of Corrections
Prison Partners With Animal Rescue Organization to Train Dogs for Wounded Veterans
Wounded soldiers will now be paired with trained dogs as a result of a unique partnership and program that is being launched at Green River Correctional Complex (GRCC).
GRCC has operated a dog rescue program since 2004; all but one Kentucky prison now has a program. The Green River program is called “Death Row Dogs” and is a partnership with Jack’s Place Animal Rescue. Through this partnership, classes of 20 dogs are each paired with an individual inmate trainer for a 12-week training program. During this period the dogs and inmates work with a certified dog trainer and each animal must pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification. The goal is to make the dog more eligible and desirable for adoption. Upon completion of the current class, a total of 564 dogs will have graduated from the program.
A few months ago Warden Randy White, a decorated Army National Guard veteran, extended a challenge to staff involved with the prison’s dog program to try and foster a possible link that would pair some of the Death Row Dog animals with wounded soldiers in a therapeutic venue.
They found that link in Army Sergeant Debra Lamere, who is currently assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Ft. Campbell. Sgt. Lamere is a member of the 101st Airborne, an Afghanistan veteran, and previously became associated with the prison’s dog program by adopting one of the dogs. Sgt. Lamere launched the “Dogs2Vets Program.”
The first graduation of dogs to complete the 12-week training course under the new partnership is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15th at 1 p.m. (CST). At this time, six veterans will be on hand to receive their dog and the families of two deployed veterans will accept the dog on behalf of their loved one. The dogs then begin specialized training, dependent on the Warrior’s specific needs, at the facility at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
Several dignitaries are also expected to attend the event and the media is invited.
For more information on programs and initiatives to assist and honor Kentucky’s service men and women, visit Gov. Beshear's 11-11-11 initiative to honor Kentucky veterans and men and women in uniform.
||First Graduation of Dogs2Vets Program|
||Wednesday, June 15th at 1 p.m. (CST)|
||Green River Correctional Complex, 1200 River Road, Central City, Ky. 42330|
||Lisa Lamb: e-mail: Lisa.Lamb@ky.gov; or Cell: 502-330-0362|