Operation Second Chance: Dogs behind bars!   »

Is that not an awesome mental image? Just some rad female pit bulls in a Caged Heat 3000-type movie? No? OK, well here’s something even better!

In Kwame Anthony Appiah’s excellent Washington Post piece, “What will future generations condemn us for?" he said that our children’s children would be ashamed not only of factory farming, but also of our current prison system. We couldn’t agree more, and we’ve got an example of one place that’s putting a Band-Aid on the gash that is our fucked "correctional facilities." Woohoo!

Karmalized Pictures is an eco-friendly, vegetarian film company—awesome in itself, but then their name also makes me think of caramelized onions, which makes me happy! Good job, guys!—that has put out a film called Jail Dogs in 1C about Operation Second Chance. Operation Second Chance is an excellent program created and run by the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia and the Gwinnett County, Ga., Sheriff’s Office. It pairs death-row doggies with carefully selected inmates at the county jail, allowing them to give back to their community while still incarcerated. Dogs helping prisoners helping dogs. So wonderful.

(This is Jake and his trainer Reed; they’re best buddies now!)

The dogs live with the men 24/7 while the inmates are training them. This helps the dogs learn social skills, making them more adoptable, and teaches the men valuable skills and responsibility. It’s also been changing a lot of lives. Some of the men are learning to love someone for the first time and others say that these dogs have really raised their self-esteem and make them feel that they are worth something. You can’t put a price on that!

It’s also delightful to know that Gwinnett County Sherriff Butch Conway not only pushed to institute this Operation Second Chance, but has been a proponent of it for many years. It’s nice to see a sheriff who recognizes the value in rehabilitation, rather than focusing on punishment! Just all-around awesome good times. My only issue with the program is that they don’t seem to involve the female inmates. Is there even a women’s jail in Gwinnett county? Google? What’s THAT? Who’s he? Anyway, I bet since it’s so successful they’ll expand and include rehab for ladies, too.

(That’s Rex! We’re told “he’s one happy dog and everyone loves him!”)

For more information about the program, visit the Society of Humane Friends or Operation Second Chance websites.

[can’t see the video? watch it at!]

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