Inmates lend helping hand at animal shelter - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Inmates lend helping hand at animal shelter

Posted by: Ben Garbarek  bio | email

After a two year hiatus, Daviess County inmates are back volunteering at the county animal shelter. Three low-level security inmates work six days a week lending a helping hand.

"They help to socialize the animals, play with them," said Ashley Clark, director of animal control.  "That helps us to know a little bit more about the animals to help them get adopted."

With the holiday season upon us, the extra help couldn't come at a better time.

"It's been a great help," she said.  "We have five full-time employees and we take in over 5000 animals so you can imagine that's a lot of animals coming and going so they've been a huge asset to the shelter."

It's not just the animals benefiting from their help.

"They learn all kinds of good job skills, work ethic," said David Osborne, Daviess County jailor.  "They have to be responsible, they get up every morning, stay out there until a certain hour just like the rest of us have to do. It's good for them to learn that."

Osborne hopes jobs like this can help these inmates after their sentences are over.

"They're learning all kinds of things we might take for granted but they're learning all kinds of little jobs that's going to be real helpful to them when they get out," he said.

So far the reaction has been positive.

"I want people to know those are inmates out giving back to the community and I think it makes people feel good," Osborne said.  "They tell me all the time, 'hey I'm glad to see those guys out working, I don't like to hear about them being laying up there watching TV.'"

Osborne said if the county were to hire people to do the work provided by these inmates, it would cost $50,000. Instead they receive this work at absolutely no cost to the county.

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