Second Chances
Shelter Dogs Program

In December, 2016, the Rita B. Huff animal shelter began a program in partnership with TDCJ to give shelter dogs a “second chance” at life.   In this program, six dogs between the ages of eight months to five years are in an eight week training program with inmates at the ellis unit trusty camp.

While there, the handlers train the dogs in basic obedience commands and work to help socialize them through interaction with other people and their animals, which in turn, makes them more adoptable. The men that can participate in the program are within two years of parole eligibility or completing their sentence.  One offender in the program said, “the dogs were really nervous when they first arrived, but it’s almost like a complete transformation now. I’m glad to be giving back for once.” Since this program started many dogs have completed the training and found forever homes.

Due to COVID-19, this program has been temporarily suspended and all dogs brought back to the Rita B. Huff animal shelter.  We hope to resume this partnership as soon as allowed.