A man and his lifesaver

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 09:20 AM.

“One of our dogs saving someone’s life, that is a first for our program,” Christy said.

The dogs in the 24th class are headed to new homes in Florida, Georgia and Connecticut. The DAWGS program has saved more than 260 dogs and placed them in new homes in 14 states.

Roughly the same number of inmates at the Gulf Forestry Camp has participated in the DAWGS program, working up the ladder from caretaker to team leader.

Dogs are screened for their potential to benefit from the program. Inmates must apply and undergo an interview process. To stay in the program, inmates and dogs alike must get with the program.

And in some cases, they serve to save each other in ways significant and small.

Consider Mandy, a 3-year-old foxhound who arrived at the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society living by a thread.

She had been without food and water for some time, Christy said. By the time she was discovered, other dogs on the property, in pens, had died of starvation. Mandy, on the outside of the pen, living long enough to attract the attention of neighbors who called Animal Control.

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