12 dogs graduate from Brevard County Sheriff's Office Paws & Stripes program

Dogs trained for adoption by incarcerated inmates

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A dozen dogs have graduated on Tuesday as part of the Paws & Stripes program, in which incarcerated inmates are paired with rescue dogs to prepare the dogs to be adopted by their new families.

Eight weeks of training came to an end as 12 dogs at risk of being put down graduated from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office program

"The dogs are learning obedience, the ladies that are involved in the program are getting basic K-9 certification from a nationally recognized organization and both of them are leaving in a much better place then when they arrived," said Sheriff Wayne Ivey.

Since the program started in 2006, more than 250 dogs have been trained by jail inmates like Lorie Sutton. For the last eight weeks, she's trained Miles, a golden retriever/pit bull mix and says he has come a long way from when the program first started.

"It's built my self esteem back up, it's taught me that I'm capable of loving and letting go. I could go on for hours about it, but this program has done a lot for me. Mentally, physically, everything," Sutton said.

A once hyper, wild Miles is now tamed and ready for adoption.

"It's hard to watch him go, but that's part of the process and you know that whenever you sign up for it," said Sutton. "So, I think I'll be OK."

BCSO says they have 10 dogs that are still up for adoption and they plan on finding all of them a home. Since the program started, it has had a 100 percent adoption success rate.

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