PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- In February, two difficult-to-control dogs from the Suncoast Humane Society were selected to spend eight weeks at the Charlotte County Jail as part of the Cell Dog Program. Today, Rose and Brandy responded to the commands of their inmate handlers and graduated from the program, hopefully heading to new homes in the near future.
The dogs were matched up with their handlers (Anthony Hoban, Alexander Bozzi, Robert Brock and Jason Chapman) who cared for and trained the dogs on a 24-hour basis. Twice a week, Bess Walmsley, Suncoast’s lead trainer, and Jorge Villada, their Animal Care Technician, helped the handlers put Rose and Brandy through a new lesson.
When the dogs displayed their newly acquired skills for the people attending the graduation, Walmsley pointed out that they were now both “much more adoptable” animals than when they started. Sheriff Bill Prummell expressed his appreciation to the handlers, pointing out that many of the previous handlers in the Cell Dogs programs have embarked on new careers, such as professional trainers, after they left the jail. He urged them to also set their goals high when they got out. Sheriff Prummell awarded each handler with a certificate for their work with the dogs.
Rose has actually already found a new home. Handler Jason Chapman will be adopting her upon his release from jail. With her newly acquired temperament and skills, Brandy shouldn’t be far behind.