Dogs in Need get help from Inmates

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email

Its not something you expect to see running around a prison yard. But for McNaughton Correctional Center in Lake Tomahawk, four legged friends are a common site.

McNaughton Center is part of the New Beginnings program that pairs dogs in need of behavioral or social training with inmates. Since the program started in May, the Center has seen big changes.

"Every institution is like its own town, we've got a library, we've got a health service unit, we've got a police force," explains Center Superintendent, Brad Kosbab, "all those things you would find in a town, now we also have the dogs here and it softens things a little bit, it's not so institutionalized."

Kosbab and his team of staff aren't the only ones seeing positive results. Inmate Joseph Athans says the dogs give him a friendly reminder of home.

"Well it's helped me," Joseph says, "with my depression, being away from my family and my animals."

One of the biggest things Joseph has taken away is what happens to the dogs when they leave.

"The main thing is we know they're going to go to a really good home and they're going to go there with better training, they'll be accepted better."

"I see myself doing a little bit of stuff like this when I get home too. It's a rewarding feeling to know you're helping the dog and in the same way the dog is helping us."

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