Puppies for Parole prepares dogs for adoption, rehabilitating prisoners

Nala and Gibbs play together as their handlers are interviewed recently at Algoa Correctional Center. Both are from a Fulton animal shelter and are being trained by offenders at Algoa.

Nala and Gibbs play together as their handlers are interviewed recently at Algoa Correctional Center. Both are from a Fulton animal shelter and are being trained by offenders at Algoa. Photo by Julie Smith.

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Rodney Vohsen works with Gibbs as he does on a regular basis.

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Czar Boyd, an Algoa Correctional Center inmate, works with Nala, a black and white mixed breed dog who came from Fulton’s animal shelter. The pair spend their entire day together as Boyd works with Nala to teach her manners, discipline and maybe a few tricks.

A Labrador mix and “smart as a little whip,” Nala has the distinction of being the 50th dog to be rescued, trained and on her way to a permanent home through the Puppies for Parole at Algoa Correctional Center.

Her pal Gibbs, a Chihuahua mix, also will graduate on the program’s one-year anniversary at the end of June.

Inmates at 18 of the 20 Missouri Department of Corrections facilities have trained more than 900 dogs, which otherwise may have been euthanized, since director George Lombardi invited wardens to try the program in February 2010.

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