The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

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
Community
  • Community Briefs: July 22 A compilation of community news as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 22, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 21

    A compilation of community news as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0713 - Fire Rescue Houses - JC 6 Finding the light Life after losing a child is like waking up and seeing a hole in the ground. You spend all day circling around the edge, trying not to fall in. It’s a description one of Frank Caldwell’s friends explained to him, a feeling he’s known all too well since his only son, Eric, died in an auto accident in April 2010.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - HB0722 - morris - DP Seven 4-H members vying for 4-H queen title

    The following seven 4-H members will vie for the title of the Madison County 4-H Fair Queen at 7:30 p.m. this evening on the Kiwanis Stage at the fairgrounds at Beulah Park.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: July 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 19, 2014

  • HHS class of '66 seeks classmates The Highland High School Class of '66 will host its 48th class reunion on Aug. 23. Contact information is needed for several classmates.

    July 19, 2014

  • Theresa Timmons: Columnist's 'my time' gets invaded by tiny person That 30 minutes between 6:30 and 7 a.m. is the time for waking up. It is the gentle transition between hard sleep and feet-hitting-the-floor, the time of day when dreams end and reality begins. It is MY time.

    July 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0720 unsung heroes Unsung heroes There are the men and women who lost their lives defending our nation's freedom and have never been a part of our history books. Twenty-four of those unsung heroes have been laid to rest at Grove Lawn Cemetery in Pendleton.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
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.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin