PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell announced the first class of the 2013 Cell Dog program at the County Jail. Two dogs have been accepted from the Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, and will be part of the six-to-eight week program utilizing inmate trustees.
“This program utilizes inmates on a 24-hour basis as the main handlers and trainers for these dogs that need a little tender loving care and direction with proper training to make them adoptable to a loving home. Once the dogs are brought to the Charlotte County Jail they are assigned inmate handlers; two main handlers and one back-up handler that take care of them every minute of the day. That includes the dogs sleeping in crates right next to the inmates in the Work Release Center building," said Corrections Deputy First Class Paul Dempster, the Jail Programs Officer.
“Once a week the lead trainer comes to the facility and teaches the inmates and dogs a specific lesson plan for that week. The inmates then continue that training throughout the week adding to the dog’s development and preparing them for their graduation from the program and placing into a good home,” CDFC Dempster continued.
And now, a message from the new "cell dogs:"
“Hello! My name is Rose! I am a white and brown female American Bulldog-Mix and I am 2 years old. I weigh 62 pounds but I’m a tall girl and caring it well. I love to play both inside and outside and am sure to keep you on your toes with all the loving energy I have. I would benefit from obedience training which I am receiving here at the Charlotte County Jail from my inmate trainers. I am protective by nature so I am sure to keep you safe but I also need a loving and attentive owner. I get along well with other animals but need to be the only dog in your home. I have a lot of love to share and know I can become the dog of your dreams! My main handlers are Anthony Hoban, Alexander Bozzi and my back-up handler is Jason Chapman.”
“Hello! My name is Brandy! I am a red brindle female Terrier-Pit Bull Mix weighing in at 44 pounds. I’m a pretty little lady who is 1 year old and searching for a home where I can run and jump and play! I like other dogs and need to continue to be socialized in my new home. I am almost housebroken thanks to my inmate trainers and I am crate trained too! I like to run around with other doggies and I am sometimes a cuddle bug. I am sweet and quiet and I would prefer a home that is committed to keeping me the rest of my life! Breeds like me often need consistent but kind guidance and thrive from frequent exercise and training. If you are thinking about adopting, think about me! My main handlers are Robert Brock, Matthew Welbourne and my back-up handler is Kevin Reagan.”