The Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and Austin Animal Center (AAC) have teamed up to bring a new program to the Travis County Correctional Complex. On a weekly basis, dogs are brought to the jail and inmates who have qualified for the classes are educated by AAC employees about animal mannerisms and behavior, dog training skills, health, wellness and more. Inmates then participate in hands-on training of the animals.

The program is a win-win for both AAC and inmates. Dogs that have been housetrained and know basic commands like sit and lie down as well as how to walk on a leash are more likely to be adopted. Dogs with good behavior skills move through the shelter system more quickly which eases the population burden at AAC. Inmates learn marketable skills, build confidence and take responsibility for someone other than themselves. They’re also given a point of contact at AAC so that if interested, they can be placed in volunteer roles once they are released.

TCSO and AAC will host a News Conference in the parking lot of the Travis County Correctional Complex at 3614 Bill Price Rd. Del Valle, TX on November 3, 2016 at 11:30 am.

Sheriff Greg Hamilton, AAC Chief Animal Services Officer, Tawny Hammond and celebrity guest, Tia Torres will speak about the particulars of how the program currently works and the exciting ways in which it will expand in the coming months. The opportunity to capture footage of dogs being taken into the jail will be provided and additional B-Roll of the classes inside the jail is available upon request from TCSO through the PIO.

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Submitted By: Kristen Dark, Sr. Public Information Officer (512) 318-5669

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