SOLEDAD, Calif. (KION) The SPCA for Monterey County announced Thursday that its Ruff Start Program at Salinas Valley State Prison has expanded.
The program will now allow trained inmates to give round-the-clock care to shelter dogs in A Yard and D Yard.
According to the SPCA, inmates are paired with shelter dogs to foster them for eight weeks. Many of the dogs need more training, socialization or care before being adopted. They may have behavioral issues, be receiving long-term medical treatment or be in custody as part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation.
The dogs are paired with inmates who are considered model prisoners, and SPCA staff and volunteers visit the program three days a week to give guidance.
After finishing the program, many of the dogs receive their Canine Good Citizen Certification and others have healed.
The SPCA said the program allows inmates to receive unconditional love from the dogs while also having the chance to give back to the community.