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For Immediate Release

December 28, 2007

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

Four New Dogs to Enter Inmate Service Dogs Training Program

(Concord, NH) The New Hampshire Department of Corrections announced that it will continue its partnership with the community-based Pathways to Hope organization of Casco, Maine, to implement a service dog training program at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord.

A group of four poodles will be delivered to the facility on January 2, 2008. Male offenders in one housing unit have been identified to train the dogs to assist the hearing impaired, people with balance problems, and people who suffer from seizures. A similar program concluded in August 2007.

“We hope to build upon past successes of this program while providing a marketable skill for our offender population,” Commissioner William L. Wrenn said.

Pathways to Hope will provide the dogs, training support, veterinarian support, and all of the supplies including food and toys at no cost to New Hampshire taxpayers. The inmates will train, clean, groom, and take care of the dogs. Each dog may remain in the institution for a year or more depending on their response to the training.

“The offenders volunteer to participate and are fully screened. They must stay discipline free, continue in their treatment or work assignments, and follow the rules of the institution to remain in the program,” Commissioner Wrenn added.

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