Sixteen non-violent offenders cleaned cages Monday at the David Lee animal shelter on the city's West Side.
The city will pay about $231,000 a year to transport the inmates and correction officers. But shelter officials say that will be offset by the money they will save in overtime.
Dart is happy the inmates will be providing a service to the community.
"We've got to start bringing money in so the taxpayers aren't footing the $150 a day it costs for detainees," said Dart.
This project has been in the works for about a year.
Dart says there is a waiting list for inmates who want to work at the shelter.