The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

March 23, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Animal program at prison has grown to affect everybody

The FIDO program was established in September 2008 when the 2nd Chance at Life Greyhound Prison Partnership pulled out of the Indiana Department of Correction in February of that year.

The Animal Protection League went into partnership with the National Greyhound Foundation for Indiana as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to run the program in five Indiana prisons.

I was excited to save the greyhounds and saw the inmates and prison as simply a means to an end. To be honest I didn’t like inmates very much — and they scared me to death. I was worried they would hurt our dogs.

The first time I went into the Correctional Industrial Facility at Pendleton with my greyhound Bella — so the offenders could meet a greyhound — I was so scared my knees were buckling. I had a panic attack when they didn’t get the gate open fast enough for me to leave.

I think I was babbling, “Let me out, let me out, LET ME OUT.” Hopefully it was not out loud, just the little voice in my head screaming. I had no idea what I was getting into and thanks to lots of mentoring and help from the Indiana Department of Correction (particularly the staff at the Correctional Industrial Facility), I learned (and still am learning) while being literally on the job.

Working in the prison with the offenders and our animals has very simply changed my life — it has made me a better person. It has become my passion. Unfortunately, back then, many donors who helped fund the Animal Protection League’s projects did not approve.

They did not understand the sheer beauty of the program and withdrew their financial support.

We lost 85 percent of our funding. I had $300 in the bank to take care of 16 greyhounds. I told my offenders that I was running out of money.

They decided with the help of the Correctional Industrial Facility to have a fundraiser for us. They raised over $3,000 and saved the program. As time has gone by, our supporters have come back and are proud of our prison programs. It’s taken a lot of columns talking about this and lots of speeches to make this shift. Somewhere along the way I have become an advocate for the offenders, not just our shelter animals.

When the greyhounds left, we submitted a proposal and it was approved for shelter dogs to be used instead. Since 2008 over 130 dogs have been saved by FIDO and countless inmates have been touched with the beauty of the human animal connection.

It is important to note that Superintendent Wendy Knight, (and prior to her, Superintendent Thomas Hanlon) and her staff at the Correctional Industrial Facility are incredibly supportive of the Animal Protection League and the work we do with their offenders.

They have made it their mission to help us with fund raisers that help support the programs we provide their offenders. We now have the 9 Lives shelter cat prison program and the Saving Max foster program as well as FIDO.

 It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with Knight and her staff as well as to save these beautiful animals and see the power of their unconditional love and the effects it has on the offenders. It affects us all. It’s not just about the animals anymore.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.

1
Text Only
Columns
  • OPN - Mootry column mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Primus Mootry: There is a poet in each of us April is National Poetry Month. Throughout the country, colleges and universities, elementary and secondary schools, libraries and various publications have hosted poetry readings or featured unpublished poets.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • underwood mug [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Nightmares from high school proms past I wore a salmon-colored tuxedo with a cummerbund and tails to my senior prom. I was 6-foot-6 and 175 pounds. A beanpole.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Judge in gay marriage decision no activist

    When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn’t resonate with those who know Young well.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd mug [Duplicate] Charo Boyd: Social Security goes green on Earth Day and every day For years, Social Security has been at the forefront of offering convenient, easy-to-use, and secure online services. We, along with those we serve, have saved a lot of paper, shipping costs, and fuel — and cut back on a lot of carbon exhaust and pollution — by going online instead of doing things the old-fashioned, less efficient way.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Kean: Can we have a 'A New State of Mind?' I have recently read some great articles about people coming together to make a difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity. The collective effort of a group can provide some much-needed food to kids who may not have a meal when they return home from school or during the weekend.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: County may eliminate Data Processing Board

    Action two weeks ago by the Madison County commissioners to close Data Processing Board meetings to the public might run afoul of the Indiana Open Door law, and a local resident is considering filing a complaint with the Public Access Counselor’s office for a determination.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark, Big Joe mug [Duplicate] 'Big Joe' Clark: Understanding the risks within fixed income investments Many retirees associate the concept of taking “risk” with the equity markets. However, as 2013 demonstrated, there is also principal risk in the fixed income arena if an untimely liquidation requires you to sell bonds and generate income.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
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 plan to attend any of the local Little 500 Festival events in May?

Yes
No
What events?
     View Results