Unwanted Greyhounds sent to Prison to Dodge Death Row
Unusual symbiotic partnership formed between prisoners and greyhounds at Hakea prison that benefits both parties trying to find new lives.
Valuable vocational skills are being imparted to inmates at Hakea Prison, following the launch of an innovative program that prepares retired racing greyhounds to be family pets.
Companion Animal Service Employment Centre (CASEC) program is being undertaken in partnership with the Department of Corrective Services, Greyhounds WA, Community First International and Extra Edge Community Services, with up to 100 prisoners learning to re-socialise the dogs through obedience training and exposure to a non-racing environment.
Corrective Services Commissioner Ian Johnson said the program was a win-win situation for both Hakea prisoners and the greyhounds.
“The dog handling and general workplace training skill modules delivered will certainly increase the employability of the prisoners, and at the same time enable retired greyhounds to become valued family pets.”
Each program consists of 12 prisoners and 4 ex-racing greyhounds over 6wk period. Programs will be delivered by Extra Edge Community Services and Greyhounds WA.
“We will be mentoring and supporting the participants through a program of caring for, managing, training and assessing the retired racing greyhounds while (the prisoners participate) in workplace skills training sessions.” Louise Gray CEO Extra Edge
Both the prisoners and greyhounds will benefit from this program. Prisoners develop their employability skills, dog handling skills, as well as their self esteem, teamwork skills and sense of responsibility. The greyhounds will be trained to become family pets, as well as give them a loving and peaceful retirement.
Greyhounds as Pets manager Kerry Dibbin says ‘greyhounds made excellent companions’. The program has been funded by the Australian Government through the Innovation Fund