A week or so ago, I posted a little bit of information about a proposed program in Los Angeles that was aiming to use parolees to help train sheltered pit bull type dogs to get them ready for adoption. I hadn't heard much about the program at the time, but there have been several news stories that have come out about it since the City Council postponed voting to approve the program 2 weeks ago.
The program would be run by a local not-for-profit group that already works with a lot of parolees who often have a difficult time finding work. The not-for-profit would work with the city to hire parolees to come into the shelters, and work with the scores of dogs that are in their shelters that need some better training to be considered truly adoptable.
Tia Torres, who is the director of Villalobos Rescue Center runs the facility, that is the largest pit bull training facility in the US -- and "teaches proper, responsible ownership" of pit bulls.
Not only has the program been good for the dogs, but not one of the nearly two dozen parolees they have hired for the program have ended up back in prison.
Los Angeles killed more than 18,000 dogs and cats last year (which is very low for a city that size, the KC metro kills roughly 40,000 per year) -- of the 6,541 canines destroyed, 40% of them were pit bull type dogs.
There are some concerns about liability for the city partnering with the program -- which is why the council postponed their vote two weeks ago. But if those can be worked out, it sounds like a fabulous program that would benefit the parolees and the dogs.
"Its abundantly clear that we cannot pretend to aspire to a no-kill (city) if we don't try harder to reduce that killed pit bull rate," said animal services GM Ed Boks.
It's this type of out-of-the-box thinking that is leading to many areas to create some really great programs that are helping animals...and people.