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Jail, LOP partner on dog foster program


By Brianna Stephens
Advocate Staff writer

A new partnership between the Montgomery County Regional Jail and Love of Paws will ensure rescued dogs have a safe place to stay.

Last week female trusties at the jail began fostering four dogs, said Pat Henry, the president of Love of Paws, a local animal rescue organization.
“I’m thankful we have this opportunity to have someone to work with in the county,” she said. “I think it will work out wonderful. I see no problems at all. ...It has been such a smooth transition.”

Henry said talks about a fostering program began last year, and Jailer Eric Jones and Chief Deputy Ian Roberts have been instrumental in making the idea a reality.

With up to 70 dogs being rescued from all over the region by LOP each month, it can be hectic trying to find foster homes or rescues for them all, she said. This partnership will help ensure some of those dogs will be cared for in a safe environment until they can be sent to a rescue, she added.

The MCRJ is modeling its program from what is being done at other jails, Roberts said, and there are several women at the jail who are interested in participating. While there are only four dogs being cared for now, he said he looks to expand that number in the future.

While the women are responsible for taking care of the dogs, Love of Paws is providing all of the needed supplies and vaccinations.
Well tempered dogs will stay at the jail in an effort to keep everyone involved safe, Henry said. However, for the dogs that are more playful and “jumpy,” Henry said that a certified trainer, Ashley Cains, will visit the jail each week for obedience training.

The foster program is a “win-win” for the jail and LOP, Henry said, because the women are not only giving back to the community through their service, but will have something to look forward to and to care for each day.

Roberts added the program creates a therapeutic environment for the women as they spend several hours a day caring for the dogs.
The MCRJ and LOP have previously partnered in an effort to provide dog houses for dogs in need during the winter. LOP supplied the materials for this project while inmates constructed the houses.

Up to 10 dog houses were donated, Roberts said, and several specialty dog houses were also made. Money that was made from specialty dog houses went towards the materials for other dog houses, he added.
In addition to LOP, the MCRJ inmates take an active part in the community through mowing projects, road crews, garden crews, trash cleanup and other activities, Roberts said.

For more information about LOP, visit www.kyloveofpaws.org.