Department of Corrections
Blackburn Prison, Lexington Humane Society Partner in Dog Training Program
Lexington, Ky. (March 16, 2009) – Another Kentucky prison has ‘gone to the dogs.’ Blackburn Correctional Complex, already known for its unique program of nurturing retired race horses while offering accredited vocational skills to inmates, has now launched a canine program designed to make the animals more adoptable while also providing rehabilitative and job prospects for the inmates involved.
Blackburn’s “Canine Companions” is the fifth dog program within Kentucky’s state prisons. On Thursday, six dogs will complete the training course and a graduation ceremony will be held at the prison. The six-week course provides basic obedience training to the dogs which live with their inmate trainers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Lexington Humane Society provides a trainer who comes to the prison and works with the inmates and dogs. Following graduation, the first six dogs will return to the shelter and Class Two will begin later that evening at the prison. The program’s goal is to graduate a class of six dogs every six to eight weeks.
“We’ve challenged all our institutions to start a dog program. We believe in their worth that much,” said Deputy Commissioner Al Parke. “These programs really do accomplish two important missions. It’s a wonderful thing when an animal’s life can be spared, and then trained to be adopted by a loving family. But oftentimes during this training course, the inmate has also changed because he has had something to care for and care about.”