Leath Correctional Institution is a Level 3 women’s facility located in Greenwood South Carolina. The prison, which is considered a maximum security facility, is set up to house more than 650 prisoners. They’ve recently added three dogs in collaboration with Humane Society of Greenwood in the “Pawsitive Prison Program” as part of a program partnered to benefit both the dogs and the female inmates.
The Pawsitive Prison Program began in November and got off the ground with the help of Karen Peattay, Executive Director for the Humane Society of Greenwood. In a few weeks, Karen will see the amazing transformation of a dog named Chance, who is set to graduate as a therapy dog. Two other dogs remain in training by head trainer Connie, who hopes to use the skills she’s learned as a dog trainer once she’s released.
In an interview with Fox Carolina News, Connie told of how the dogs are changing the morale of the women
“A dog doesn’t judge you, and you can see the change in that dog and we don’t judge the dog. He’s had some bruises, but we didn’t judge him, we kept moving forward looking for that change, and in changing him, it’s changed us.”
Karen is amazed at the difference in Chance once he underwent dog behavior training at the prison, saying
“He’s an amazing dog. I think he was the perfect pilot pooch for this program because he epitomizes all the things we’d find challenging and difficult, and in such a short time he’s become a completely differently behaved dog.”
Associate Warden Patricia Yeldell is very happy with the Pawsitive Prison Program and says the women are calmer since the dogs arrived. She contributes the change in the women with being able to interact with the dogs. The training program is a win-win, with the dogs receiving the training that will make them a welcome addition to a new home while at the same time providing animal therapy to the women
The program is in need of monetary and dog-related items so the dogs receive plenty of food and doggy treats. Donations can be made via the Humane Society of Greenwood website.