Tiger, a pit bull terrier rescued from a dog fighting ring, and a slew of other dogs who require extra love and care now call it home.
MASH runs a program in which inmates at a prison care for abused dogs, giving them the comfort they need to learn to trust people again.
It’s a fantastic program not only for the dogs, who have been moved from terrible conditions to the shelter, but also for the inmates, who get to spend time with a bunch of puppies.
As part of the 30-day program, women in prison are moved to the shelter six days a week.
Since 2000, the shelter has provided a safe haven for dogs, cats, and horses until they are ready to be adopted, as well as a place for inmates to interact with animals.
Volunteers investigate animal cruelty complaints, go in and rescue the animals, and then return them to the shelter where they can recover.
The cells have been renamed Bow Wow Way, Purr Lane, 2nd Chance, and Ruff Road after being converted into mini-rooms for the dogs. Lovely.
‘I get so much out of it, probably more than the dogs do,’ one of the women in the program, Kristina Hazelett, told REUTERS.
‘It’s very therapeutic for me as well, not just them, which was an unexpected, pleasant surprise.’
Kristina and the other women in the program had to go through extensive interviews and screenings before they could begin caring for the dogs.
As part of the program, they work with animal care technicians to learn how to prepare the dogs for adoption, which has the added benefit of preparing many inmates for work with animals after they leave jail.
Aubrey Herrera, one of the inmates, has learned a lot from caring for the dogs.
‘These dogs are locked up just like we are and they need love just like we do,’ she said.
‘It’s not about us when we come here. It is all about the dogs.’