Prison Inmates Training Shelter Dogs

<p>Coyote Ridge Dog Program</p>

Coyote Ridge Dog Program

Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell is celebrating the accomplishments and the expansion of it's dog training program, in which inmates train shelter dogs in hope they'll be adopted.

Daniel Jolliffe is coming up on the 21st year of his 25 year sentence for double murder.

Jolliffe works as a mentor in the dog training program and he said it's helped him come to the realization that he can become a better person.

"I realized that this isn't my life and I can do something from in prison that will get me back to who I really am," said Joliffe. "It gave me the opportunity to contribute to society."

Joliffe has been a part of the program since its start three years ago and he said he'll use the knowledge he's gained to integrate back into society.

"I have hopes to start my own dog training business and use the things that I've learned in this program and the structure this program has that I think is very beneficial to start something more unique," said Joliffe.

There are currently twelve dogs in the program and nearly 50 inmates training them, 14 more than the last time we visited two years ago.  

The dogs come from the Humane Society and local shelters and stay for about 6 to 8 weeks for training, then they go up for adoption.

The programs founder Rick Carten said the program has many benefits.

"One of the goals or objectives of the department was to reduce violence in the prison, give back to the community and to provide jobs in the facility," said Carten.

Matthew Trammell is serving a 15 year sentence for 2nd-degree murder and said this program gives the inmates no time to be violent and in a sense allows them to get along.

"You have to get past the prison politics and I look at them like they're my co-workers and it's about the dogs," said Trammell.

One inmate said this program helps him through his time here.

"For me it's comfort," said James Hoholik. "I get happy when they get adopted."

Adams County Pet Resuce, Benton Franklin Humane Society and Forgotten Dogs Rescue have all partnered with the prison to make all of this possible.