Dog training facility opens at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center

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ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 27: Georgia women prison inmates lead their Labrador puppies during guide dog training at Metro State Prison August 27, 2002 in Atlanta, Georgia. The I.M.P.A.C.T. program (Inmates Providing Animal Care and Training) teams inmates with puppies provided by Southeastern Guide Dog, Inc., for a 16-month program of training with a volunteer obedience instructor. The Georgia Department of Corrections then returns the dogs for advanced training, ultimately providing guide dogs to the visually impaired. (Photo by Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images)

MCLOUD, Okla. – Several dogs will get a second chance at a new life thanks to a prison program in McLoud.

The Guardian Angels Program works with local animal rescue groups to pair dogs with inmates, who work to train the dogs before they are adopted. Rescued dogs live with the inmates for several weeks as the inmates teach them commands and groom them.

The animals can also be trained as a service animal or a home that has elderly residents.

“Programs like this give our inmates hope that they can offer society something of value when they get out,” Department of Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said. “They also improve security on the yard by giving our inmates something positive to do with their time in prison.”

Since the program began at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in 2014, it has placed 123 dogs.

Now, the program is receiving a big boost.

On Tuesday, the Serelda Cody Dog Training Facility, a 2,982-square-foot kennel, opened inside the correctional center.

It features 10 indoor/outdoor kennels, a grooming area with equipment, and a washer and dryer to keep bedding and towels clean. It also includes an enclosed exercise yard with agility equipment and a walking path for the handlers and dogs.

The new building gives trainers a central location to take classes, and learn how to train and groom dogs.

“The Serelda Cody Dog Training Facility is a product of our incredible partnership with CareerTech and other volunteers,” Allbaugh said. “It symbolizes our shared our commitment to return a better individual to society. Quite frankly, we couldn’t do it without them.”

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