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“New Leash On Life” Program Rehabilitates Anxious Rescue Canines And Utah Inmates

In October of 2020, the Utah County Jail began a program known as “New Leash on Life.” Because the canine pun signifies, it offers rescue canines essential alternatives to achieve confidence and discover everlasting houses. The best way these canines practice and study to belief is what makes this system so useful.

The New Leash on Life program pairs hard-to-adopt canines from the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter with inmates on the Utah County Jail. Coaching and socializing the frightened canines offers the inmates an essential accountability and the therapeutic advantages of getting a pet.


Sgt. Chris Sainsbury, who oversees this system, summarized the previous 12 months to Each day Herald:

“It’s truly been improbable. It’s a therapeutic alternative for the inmates and helps the canines.”

How The Program Helps Rescue Canines

For the reason that program’s begin in 2020, 28 canines have come via. Most of them got here from abusive conditions and had been very hesitant to work together with individuals. As Sgt. Sainsbury defined:

“We stroll close to them they usually decrease their heads to the bottom, as if anticipating some type of punishment. We now have canines that are available that won’t even go away their kennels. They’re so afraid.”


Many canines that exhibit indicators of concern aggression are deemed unadoptable. After one-on-one coaching and a spotlight with their inmate handlers, the previously terrified canines of this program discovered to belief once more.

“Each considered one of them has gone straight from canines that don’t appear adoptable but to going straight into the adoption pool,” Sainsbury famous.


As an extra indication of this system’s influence, seven of the canine graduates had been later adopted by their inmate handlers upon their launch from jail. A number of occasions, deputies raised the funds for adoption charges to make the reunions simpler.

How New Leash On Life Advantages The Inmates

Inmates lucky sufficient to take part within the “New Leash On Life” program practice with the canines three to 5 hours per day. In response to Sainsbury:

“They know this program is exclusive. Only a few inmates throughout the nation are in a position to be incarcerated and have an animal who doesn’t decide them, is grateful to be with them.”

Working with the canines additionally will get the handlers exterior, retains them energetic, and imbues them with accountability. They’ve a number of duties associated to caring for and coaching the canines.

“This permits them to be exterior within the solar. Whereas they work within the jail backyard, the canines are with him, watching them. They play with the canines throughout breaks. They study accountability, be certain they’re fed, bathed, clear the kennels, look ahead to medical points.” 


Sheriff Mike Smith stated that not solely is the Sheriff’s Workplace pleased with this system, however the inmates are pleased with the work they do.

“They’re doing one thing optimistic they usually’re making a distinction for the canines and, most likely extra importantly, for themselves. For a few of them, it could be the primary time they’ve had the chance to serve on this means. I’m actually pleased with this system.”

The dogs benefit so much from what the inmates educate them, they usually give a lot again in return.

“The animal comes from a spot that wants therapeutic. The inmates want the identical factor,” Sainsbury added.

A Sturdy Bond In An Unlikely Place

Jacob Denver spent about six months on the Utah County Jail. He was concerned with the New Leash on Life program there and labored with a canine named Muzzy.

Usually, the canines turn into accessible for adoption via the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter as soon as they end this system. On this case, after he was launched from jail, Denver adopted Muzzy. He informed Each day Herald:

“As soon as we received dwelling, she simply lit up. I completely adore her. She has been the very best factor that’s occurred to me in a very very long time. She is sensible and loving. Perhaps I needed to go to jail simply to get this canine.”

Because of the New Leash on Life program, an inmate left jail with a brand new set of abilities and a finest buddy.

H/T: Daily Herald
Featured Picture: Utah County Sheriff’s Office

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