With so many Covid pets being returned once their new owners returned to work, Bay County has had a massive influx in animal adoption returns to its shelters. To try to make these animals more adoptable and ready to go to their forever homes, shelters have partnered with the Bay County state prison.

The partnership involves select inmates living with and training the shelter dogs to polish up on their behavior and skills. Six dogs participate in the program at a time, with new dogs being selected each time one gets adopted. So far, 23 dogs have already been adopted through the program, showing just how effective the program really is!

Craig Goulet, the Bay County shelter’s manager and director of the county’s administrative services, said, “It’s to help them do better on leashes, to sit. They’ll work on commands such as stay, how to turn while you’re walking. Some dogs that come in here, they jump and just don’t know any better. (The inmates) work on correcting those types of things and curbing certain behaviors.”

One prisoner involved in the training program said, “For me, I wanted to take responsibility for just having something to take care of. I knew it would be a privilege to be part of. I’ve been a dog lover since I was kid, and I wanted to give back. Some dogs come from very bad situations, and I knew this would make me be able to contribute to society again, being in prison.”

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