KYLE, Texas â Dogs in Kyle are getting a second chance at adoption. The PAWS Shelter of Central Texas in Kyle relaunched their âCell Dog Program.â
Ten dogs are matched with 20 inmates at the Kyle Correctional Center. The inmates train them for eight weeks. The inmates are in prison for comparably low offenses.
Monday was their graduation from the program.
“I really just didn’t think that I would learn as much,â said James Guzman, who applied to be in the program.
He spent 24/7 with Pantera, a four-year-old dog from the shelter.
“She’s rambunctious,â said Guzman. âShe can be a bit stubborn.”
Pantera was a couple days from being put down before the PAWS of Central Texas placed her in the program.
Guzman is in prison for evading arrest, and he knows about second chances.
âI can relate the dogs to convicts,â said Guzman. “We messed up. We made some mistakes in our lives. These dogs didn’t necessarily make mistakes in their lives, but mistakes were made by who owned them originally.”
The dogs are chosen for the program because they are not as adoptable; they are often overlooked or returned to the shelter because of behavior issues.
Pantera is now getting a forever home thanks to Melody Camacho, a correctional officer at the prison. She is giving Pantera that second chance.
“She’s different from all the other dogs,â said Camacho. âI just got that gut feeling. I clicked with her.”
Guzman will have to say goodbye.
“I’m not gonna lie,â he said. âI’m a little sad.â
He said he has learned life lessons from his time training Pantera.
“Patience,â Guzman said. âAll things take time.”
The program originally launched in 2005 and is being re-launched after taking a hiatus for a few years due to low funding.
The dogs are now more adoptable, because they are trained in basic obedience lessons.
If you would like to donate to PAWS’ Cell Dog Program, click here.
You can also call the PAWS Shelter of Central Texas at (512) 268-1611 for inquiries about adoption.
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