With a sharp decline in inmate population over the past month, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway plans to devote a portion of the county jail to save dogs' lives.
The jail will serve as a foster home for the Society of Humane Friends, a licensed pet rescue agency.
With six open housing units that can accommodate up to 72 inmates, the sheriff is devoting one ground unit to the program. He will assign a dog to each of the 10 inmates in the unit.
The dogs will have access to a fenced grassy area for exercise, Conway said, and trainers will come in to work with the inmates on grooming and training the animals. The program will begin as soon as he puts up the fence.
Yes, yes, yes! More proof that each of us can do a little something. And when we do, it adds up to a big something.
Ten dogs is not that big of a deal in terms of jail space, Conway said, adding that he is keeping 20 rescued dogs at his home.
No county money will be spent, and the Society of Humane Friends has already agreed to donate food and veterinary care, he said.
"I'm committed to either paying for it out of my pocket or through donations," Conway said. "This is great for the inmates. It will socialize the inmates as well as the dogs."
Dennis Kronenfeld, president of the local chapter of the Society of Humane Friends, said the program is already in correctional facilities in 17 states.
Thanks to reader Valerie for mentioning this story to me.