Friday, December 16, 2005

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, on the surface this may seem a little strange, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

Therese Backowski, a dog obedience instructor, is part of the Cell Dog program, run by a group that hopes to bring greyhounds to every prison in Ohio. "We figure a lot of the people from the industry are going to be in prison, if they aren't already, so there is a built in expertise for caring for the dogs," Backowski said.

''About 12 years ago, kennel operators and owners were killing about 50,000 dogs a year,'' said Beverly Sebastian, executive director of the National Greyhound Foundation. ''Since then, rescue efforts have cut that in half. But our biggest problem is where to put these dogs until they're adopted. We probably have 5,000 dogs available for adoption nationally.''

Before they can be adopted, the dogs must learn how to behave in private homes. Backowski began teaching dog obedience techniques to inmates at Mansfield Correctional Institution five years ago, where she said she now instructs 80 inmates. She said she does this for two reasons: to help people and to help dogs. "The dogs actually inspire the inmates," she said. "They prove to them that, even though you may start your life a minion of the man, there is always hope you can break free and start a new life."

Inmate Ernest Bennett's first dog is May, short for her racing name, Glory Mabry. She came to the Lorain Correctional Institution in September, from Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she raced at the Bluffs Run dog track.

"I was mostly living life on the streets before I went to prison,'' said Bennett. "So I know what it's like to have nothing to look forward to and always to be afraid. Sort of like what her life must have been like at the track. Now we both have something to look forward to."

Ah, nothing like an uplifting story for the holiday season, wouldn't you agree Donna?

DonnaStar has a very sweet & loving personality. She loves to play with and carry toys to lie down with. She is very friendly and outgoing. She approaches all the family members for a nuzzle, a hug, some pets and a kiss on the head. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.


James said...

It is nice to hear that there is another option for more dogs to have temporary homes. Even better if they can rehabilitate some of their former owners in the bargain.

Therese Backowski said...

Help! You misquoted me! I never said, nor even think, that a lot of the people in the industry will be imprisoned! Where on earth did that come from?

Therese Backowski

luann said...

You also misquoted inmate Bennett. Where did the comment "So I know what it's like to have nothing to look forward to and always to be afraid...Now we both have something to look forward to." originate from???? It doesn't appear in the Morning Journal article that you link to, nor did he make this statement during the interview for the article. What gives? Get it right Ironicus!