Dallas County

Inmates Train Dogs to Help Clear the Shelters

A group of dogs in the upcoming Clear the Shelters event will have some special training done at the Dallas County Jail.

The "Homes for Hounds" program takes dogs from the Grand Prairie Animal Shelter and puts them through training with inmates at the Dallas County Jail.

The inmates train a group of dogs to be more suitable for adoption and finding a forever home.

"We're getting them prepared to be adopted into a loving caring family," inmate Dexter Scott said.

The inmates train the dogs using positive methods, a technique they said sticks with the dogs in the program.

"Teaching the dogs with positive reinforcement, continually rewarding them when they do right behavior and never telling them no when they're wrong, it seems to have a lasting effect," inmate Daniel Nickell said.

One dog who has been through the program is Bob. He has been at the shelter since January and still searching for his permanent home.

"With the training we give them, you can see with Bob, it's a lasting effect," Nickell said. "The positive enforcement really stays with the dog."

Bob had been at the shelter before reuniting with the group at the jail and it was as if he had never left, taking commands from jail staff and inmates.

The inmates hope the changes show up in more than just the dogs, they hope it helps change them while they are in the jail.

"With me being here in the Dallas County Jail, it's a similar situation," inmate Kevin Smith said. "It's a second opportunity, a second chance at life."

The dogs who participated in the program will be available in the Clear the Shelters event at the Grand Prairie Animal Shelter on Saturday, Aug. 19. The Dallas County Jail will start its next class of training next week.

Cody Lillich
Leroy Brown, Kia, Henry and Bob are four dogs up for adoption at the Grand Prairie Animal Shelter -- all were trained by inmates at the Dallas County Jail. Click the image to see a larger photo.


Bob is an American Pit Bull Terrier mix and is estimated to be 2 years and 6 months old.


Kia is a Labrador Retriever mix and is estimated to be 1 year and 2 months old.

Leroy Brown

Leroy is a pit bull-Dachshund mix who is estimated to be four years old.


Henry is an Anatolian Shephers and American Foxhound mix and is estimated to be a little over a year old.

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