New Leash on Life
What is it?
The New Leash on Life is a NC Department of Public Safety program that matches local shelter dogs with inmates for an 8 week training course. The dogs are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, provided heartworm and flea preventative and spend 8 weeks working with an inmate and trainer team. The inmates are responsible for all aspects of animal care and training, and spend most of their waking hours working with the dogs.
New Leash on Life offers both people and dogs a new chance, helping inmates become productive members of society, and giving dogs the necessary training to be welcome members of a family. Inmates get a sense of pride and self-esteem, and a marketable skill. Perhaps best of all, inmates learn patience and compassion, and both men and dogs learn how to give and receive unconditional love.
Randolph County New Leash on Life program works with the Randolph Correctional Center.
What do the dogs learn?
The dogs learn basic obedience skills, including sit, down, stay, heel, and walking on a loose leash. Most of the dogs have had no previous training and lack basic socialization. The trainers focus on these challenges to prepare them for life “on the outside” . Additionally, the dogs learn a few tricks and some beginning agility. New Leash dogs also become Canine Good Citizen certified!
How do you select the dogs that go into the program?
Selections vary with each training cycle. New Leash dogs are shelter dogs that need the polishing that training provides to make them more appealing to adopters. Our trainers change as individual inmates finish out their terms, so we try to match the dogs with the skill levels of our guys.
How do I adopt a New Leash Dog?
Trainers and inmates work 8 weeks with a dog for the opportunity to be placed in a permanent home. Potential adopters first complete an application. Once an application is approved a meeting is arranged with the adopter and dog. When the best match is found the dog is placed in it’s new home after graduation. The New Leash on Life dog adoption fee is $200.
Can I put my dog through the program?
This is probably the number one request! Unfortunately, the answer is no. The New Leash on Life program is restricted to shelter and rescue dogs who are not owned by individuals. We would be happy to point you in the direction of some wonderful trainers in the area, so feel free to email us at rcaspets@RandolphCountyNC.gov.
How can I help?
We invite you to join us on a graduation day found on the Animal Services Calendar!
You can help the animals and inmates by raising awareness to a program that helps dogs and prison inmates. Once you’ve seen the amazing transition that some of these dogs and inmates make, you’ll understand why we continue to sponsor this program for Randolph County.
Why is this important?
This is more than just another way to get dogs adopted. This program changes lives. When the dogs arrive at the correctional center, it’s exciting for everyone, not just the inmate-trainers. We have watched in amazement as cowering, fearful dogs blossom into confident ones who love to play and perform. We’ve witnessed dogs who were completely out of control settle into quiet, obedient companions. These benefits also extend to dogs who aren’t in the program. When people see such amazing animals coming from an animal shelter, they are more likely to give a shelter dog a second look and chance.
The program is also important for our inmate trainers, Men with little hope of a brighter future after incarceration receive the unconditional love only a dog can give. Inmates develop new goals and hone skills that translate into jobs, careers and hope. Inmates learn to apply critical thinking skills, time management and each develop a bond and dependency to the other which increases trust, compassion and empathy.
New Leash on Life is a lifeline for both the inmate and the dogs by creating a brighter path for both.