The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

 
 

Dogs get a break from prison training program

 

Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

DONNA MATUSEWIC tends to prison training dog Oceta, in the foreground, while Colleen Sachs leads Kratos at the Spring Home, Yard and Sport Show Saturday at the Patrick O'Donnell Civic Center in Ironwood.

IRONWOOD - Kratos and Oceta took a furlough from their prison training program Saturday to attend the Spring Home, Yard and Sport Show at the Patrick O'Donnell Civic Center.

The dogs are two of many up for adoption at the HOPE animal shelter.

The dogs walked through the crowd at the civic center, stopping to be petted by youngsters and adults alike.

They are staying at the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, where they are being trained by inmates right in the prison cells.

The inmates' obedience training prepares the dogs for adoption at HOPE, where they are available to the general public. It not only helps the dogs, but gives the inmates a sense of purpose while they are serving their sentences.

"It's a win-win for us," HOPE director Randy Kirchhoff said previously.

The HOPE board organized the effort with Ojibway warden Linda Tribley, who said a similar program had been successful at the Alger Correctional Facility.

For Bruce Jackson, of Ironwood, a volunteer at HOPE, it was a homecoming at the civic center as he met his old pals. Jackson walks the dogs at HOPE and has a good word to say about all of them.

He said there are six HOPE dogs at Ojibway and all but one or two are up for adoption.

"The program has been working out well," he said.

Jackson said dogs are surrendered to HOPE for a variety of reasons, but they tend to make good candidates for adoption when trained properly.

Colleen Sachs, of HOPE, said Oceta prefers the company of humans and doesn't tend to mix well with other dogs, so people should consider that when thinking about adopting the dog.

"These are wonderful dogs," she said.