Shelter dogs graduate training program

CHICAGO (WLS) -- This is not your typical graduation. It's better - it's a graduation for dogs.

Five mixed breed dogs graduated from the Tails of Redemption Program, Wednesday. The program is intended to a rehab for bad-mannered shelter dogs.

"We get to save dogs' lives, rather than be put down," Deputy Sheriff Shirley Toney said. "They get to come here, they get training and they go to a loving home."

It's a partnership between the Cook County Jail and the Chicago Animal Care and Control center. It's intended to help lower the number of euthanized dogs in Chicago and give inmates at Cook County a new purpose. This is the second class of dogs to graduate since the program started late last year.

"I had kind of a clue of how to train a dog before," inmate LaCedric Banks said. "But now I'm well equipped and know how to have them to sit, stay, walk on a leash or obey a command through a positive reinforcement."

The dogs lived with the inmates in their cells for 8 weeks. Inmates trained, fed, played with and even slept with the dogs. The bond they made is tight.

"This here is my partner. I sit there, talk to him, feed him, he looks forward to do little things or me scratching on him. I'm going to miss him," Banks said.

The goal of the program is to get these dogs trained and adopted. Three of the dogs who graduated already are and they're headed to their forever homes.

A new class of dogs is set to come in two weeks. If you're interested in meeting any of the them, you can email ccso.communications@cookcountyil.gov or call (312) 603-4242.
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