Los Angeles Expanding Plan to Have Inmates Help Save Strays - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Los Angeles Expanding Plan to Have Inmates Help Save Strays

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (ABC) - As part of a new program in Los Angeles, dogs that are not adopted and would otherwise be euthanized are finding a home and a role in society.

Some pups in Los Angeles are learning their new tricks in a setting that some folks might find unusual -- inside the Los Angeles County Jail.

Dogs once destined for death row are getting a second chance at life thanks to some unlikely companions.

"I think it's a good thing for these guys, and for us," inmate Caesar Cunanan said.

Cunanan is one of 36 inmates responsible for taking care of two dogs every five weeks. Those dogs were only days away from being euthanized.

The inmates live with the canines 24-7, bathing, feeding and training them so they can find a new home.

"I've almost died on the street too," Cunanan said. "I've been shot. You know, just to give this guy another chance, because I'm thankful for me having another chance at living too."

Each dog that the inmates train is rescued from a shelter, even puppies, and every one is adopted.

"They're adopted before they're done with this program," said Rick Belmonte of Belmonte's Dog Training & Equipment.

Belmonte, a dog behaviorist, helps the inmates train the dogs to sit, stay, heel and much more. He believes the bond will help the inmates integrate back into society without re-offending.

"They're feeling a sense of empowerment," Belmonte said. "I think that confidence will help them get a job interview."

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is now expanding the program.

"The inmates are much more calm and relaxed," said Sgt. Raymond Harley of the Sheriff's Department.

With one more year to serve on a drug charge, Cunanan said his time with Jet is changing his life.

"Having a job with Jet has made me probably more responsible," Cunanan said.

So do you think this could solve the stray animal problem back here in Corpus Christi? Let us know how you feel in the Quick Poll below, and go to our Facebook page to tell us your thoughts. We would like to hear your opinions.

  • Training Aimed At Building Stronger Cases Against Suspected Child Abusers

    Training Aimed At Building Stronger Cases Against Suspected Child Abusers

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:10:34 GMT
    Several dozen professionals are taking part in a two day training seminar put on by the Department Of Family Protective Services. The professionals are learning techniques that will help them make better cases against those suspected of child abuse.More >>
    Several dozen professionals are taking part in a two day training seminar put on by the Department Of Family Protective Services. The professionals are learning techniques that will help them make better cases against those suspected of child abuse.More >>
  • Man Indicted For Fatal Punch

    Man Indicted For Fatal Punch

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:07:27 GMT
    A Nueces County grand jury has indicated a man accused of fatally punching another man at a local strip club in April of this year. The victim later died from his injuries.More >>
    A Nueces County grand jury has indicated a man accused of fatally punching another man at a local strip club in April of this year. The victim later died from his injuries.More >>
  • Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?

    Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:03 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:03:27 GMT
    By executive order, President Obama is increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President hopes to have the private sector follow suit with the pay increase. Meanwhile, the debate continues as to whether the increase would actually help or hinder American workers and our economy.We examine three reasons the increase is good, and three reasons it is not so good in a 3News Special Report: Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?More >>
    By executive order, President Obama is increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. The President hopes to have the private sector follow suit with the pay increase. Meanwhile, the debate continues as to whether the increase would actually help or hinder American workers and our economy.We examine three reasons the increase is good, and three reasons it is not so good in a 3News Special Report: Minimum Wage - Does it Make Cents?More >>