The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

February 22, 2014

Maleah Stringer: Prison partnership helps animals and humans alike

In 2006 the Animal Protection League and the National Greyhound Foundation, out of Florida, formed a partnership to be the pilot program in Indiana for the Second Chance at Life Greyhound Prison Program. The National Greyhound Foundation's director, Beverly Sebastian, hired me to run her program in five Indiana prisons.

We had watched her promotional video about the program and we all fell, hook line and sinker. We all had greyhounds, loved greyhounds, wanted to save greyhounds and this seemed like an answer to our prayers. Except we kind of forgot we had to go in the prison and work with the inmates. It all started off as simply a way to save these precious dogs. The inmates were simply a means to an end. In the beginning, that is.

I knew about as much about working with inmates and the Indiana Department of Corrections system as I do brain surgery. Fortunately, the staff at the Correctional Industrial Facility took me under their wing and gave me a crash course. They were and continue to be wonderful to me and the Animal Protection League.

The first time I went "inside" I was scared witless. I had a panic attack when I heard the gate lock behind me and I couldn't get out. Beverly was watching me; not one to tolerate weakness, she told me she didn't think I had what it took.The inmates were watching as well, laughing at my feeble attempts to get out the locked gate while sweating profusely and gasping for air. Great first impression. I somehow found the courage to do this program and, in effect, changed my own life.

When they decided to concentrate the program in Florida, we made a proposal to use shelter dogs from our shelter in the Correctional Industrial Facility. The first shelter dogs went in in 2008. This expanded with the 9 Lives shelter cat prison program and the Saving Max prison foster program.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you think school is starting too early?

Yes, it shouldn't start until after Labor Day.
Yes, it shouldn't start for another week or so.
No, it's about right.
Not sure.
     View Results