About our Partnership with Hardee
We currently have a partnership with the Hardee Correctional Institution for the inmates to do our greyhound training.
Greyhounds Will Be Trained in a Safe Environment
Greyhounds will be housed with the inmates at Hardee Correctional Institution. Prison staff will be present during training and throughout the day. An air conditioned area will be available for training during the hot weather. An isolated outdoor area will be available for the training circles and exercising. No more than 2 greyhounds will be allowed to run at one time and will be closely monitored by the inmate trainers.
All candidates under consideration for the program are reviewed and approved by the Greyhound Advancement Center as well as prison management and staff.
The Greyhound Advancement Center Provides Ongoing Professional Greyhound Training & Support
The Greyhound Advancement Center will provide the necessary professional training to the inmate trainers involved with the program. Each inmate involved with the program and prison program staff have received extensive information on the care and training of greyhounds. Books and other media have been provided as supplemental information.
The Greyhound Advancement Center trainer evaluates each greyhound entering into the program to provide an initial assessment and suggested direction to the inmate trainers.
Initially, the obedience training program will last up to 10 weeks. The amount of service dog training depends on the type of commands being taught, but PTSD training typically requires about 10 additional weeks beyond obedience training. We may reduce the duration of our programs as we determine the optimal amount of training necessary. Our goal is to ensure greyhounds are adequately trained to do their commands and be willing to perform these commands for others. Sponsoring organizations will be invited to either graduation or post-graduation to evaluate the quality of training, and may elect to keep a given dog back for an addition session.
Greyhound Inmate Trainers Are Professionally Trained
One inmate trainer supervisor will lead greyhound training and circles. A primary inmate trainer and a backup trainer are assigned to each greyhound. An on-call inmate will stay with the greyhound if the primary and backup trainers are not available. The on-call inmate will be observing during training sessions and become eligible for becoming an inmate trainer if/when a greyhound becomes available. The inmate trainers will allow their greyhound to spend time with other trainers so they will not become overly dependent on the primary trainer.
Trainers will submit weekly status reports on the progress of the greyhound. Updates will be posted on the Internet to monitor training progress. Reports will be shared with sponsoring rescue and adoption groups at periodic intervals.
A Vet-Tech Oversees the Health of the Greyhounds in the Program
All greyhounds are examined upon entering the prison. An inmate vet tech and a back-up vet tech monitor the health of the greyhounds and provide medical assistance when necessary. Vet techs maintain and monitor the health records of each greyhound and ensure medication is provided when necessary. Vet techs are responsible for the storage and monitoring of food. The vet-tech will report medical concerns to the Program Coordinator Staff who is on call. The vet tech and back-up are responsible for ensuring greyhounds receive emergency treatment if/when necessary.
The Program Coordinator Staff will contact the Greyhound Advancement Center immediately, regardless of the time of day, if medical attention is required. The Program Coordinator Staff will be required to transport the greyhound to the local vet on call if necessary.
Greyhounds Will Be Ready for Homes Upon Graduation
Each greyhound graduate will be accompanied by inmate trainer notes and other background information to assist in a smooth transition into their forever home. Greyhounds can be held in prison until they have a suitable foster home or forever home.
We will schedule graduation before the Christmas holidays so families can enjoy their greyhound in time for the holidays. However, we ask that adoption groups immediately place greyhounds fresh off of the track or farm into the program so the inmate trainers will have someone to comfort them during the holidays – the period of highest prison suicide rate. This will also ensure more greyhounds are off the track or farm and with caring people during the holidays.
Cat testing will become a part of the program. The cat testing date and notes will be provided upon request.
Please let us know if you have any special requests. We will try to accommodate your needs if possible.
Preparing Greyhounds for the Prison Training Program
We will work closely with greyhound adoption groups to place greyhounds into loving homes.
We ask each adoption group to commit to placing a certain number of greyhounds into the obedience training program each session. If necessary, we may ask you to supply a baby gate and/or crate, and dog beds that will be ready for your greyhounds while at the prison. These items will be kept at the prison.
Your adoption group should provide or select a spay/neutered greyhound up to date on all shots and meds and in good health along with:
- Unopened dog food to last through the 10 week training session (or we can buy the food for you)
- Heartworm and flea preventive
- Fleece blanket
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Sweat rag
- Martingale collar and leash
Over time we hope to be able help coordinate a larger and hence more attractive group to corporate donors for most of these items, thereby reducing costs for all groups. In the case of collars, leashes, and mats, we may be able to produce these within the prison for the price of materials.
We will use track names if/when possible or names you assign to the greyhound. We will ask for your approval if the inmate trainer feels the “call name” is not an easy name to work with or does not reflect a positive image.
Our web site will provide regular updates on the training progress. Behavioral problems will be brought to the attention of the rescue group.