Inmates give dogs the second chances they seek

- Shelter dogs can come from broken homes, off the streets or other tragic circumstances. Owners may have given up on them and their bad behavior, which is often because they don’t know any better or were raised that way. Dogs like Sampson.

"He was a stray. He was kind of like depressed and a little kind of broken down when he arrived, a little rough around the edges,” said Austin Animal Center behavior specialist Dennis Weaver.

That’s where the inmates at the Travis County Correctional Complex come in.

In a partnership with the Austin Animal Center, the inmates teach the dogs basic commands, how to walk on a leash, and how to be house-trained.

In turn, the inmates gain life skills and experience for the next leg of their own journey.

"It's an absolute life-saving partnership,” said AAC Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond.

A couple weeks into the program and Sampson, along with five other dogs, is ready for a new family.

An old dog can learn new tricks. Sometimes they just need a second chance. 

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