A dog at Georgia’s Gwinnett County jail has been waiting for a real home for years. Despite his suggestive name Bandit is no outlaw – he’s just a rescued dog who was taken in through Operation Second Chance, aka “Jail Dogs,” when his time ran short at an animal control agency.
Jail Dogs started back in 2010 as a partnership between Sheriff Butch Conway and the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department and Society of Humane Friends of Georgia. Jail Dog Bandit receives all of his care from an inmate who has been screened and selected to provide everything that Bandit needs in his day-to-day life. The inmate’s responsibility is high – especially for a dog like Bandit, who was left paralyzed from his heartworm treatment.
The Jail Dog Program explained Bandit’s severe reaction to the treatment:
The Jail Dogs Staff signed up Bandit for the expensive, painful treatment. This treatment is a series of three shots that are given in the muscles in the back. They are given over a span of 3 months and the side effects are harsh and include everything from pain and swelling on the injection site to lethargy and flu like symptoms.
Bandit, however suffered something much worse; paralysis of his lower extremities. At first we all assumed this was something acute or temporary. We were wrong. His condition not only persisted, it got worse.
The inmate handler is responsible for round-the-clock care for this special needs dog…everything from inserting Bandit’s catheter, to supporting his legs when he has to defecate.
Thanks to the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia, Bandit was gifted a custom set of wheels which allow him to live a more carefree, normal life. “Jail Dog” Bandit’s biography offers a glimpse at his personality:
It doesn’t slow him down though with his hot wheels! His favorite thing to do is play fetch and he has laser beam focus. He maneuvers like a race car in his cart! He’d be wonderful with an active family, he’s very playful and happy, and would be great with kids. He likes some other dogs… it just depends on the other dog. Let this Bandit steal your heart!
Bandit still needs a real home, but in the meantime, he’s in good hands. Deputy Shannon Volkodav to 11 Alive News how the program helps dogs, as well as the inmates who are responsible for their care:
“They have a lot of pride in what they do. The program benefits the humans as much as the dogs. They rescue the people too.”
Read Bandit’s full story here.
Find Jail Dogs on Facebook here.
Read more about Operation Second Chance-Jail Dogs here.
(Images via JailDogs.Org)