Toledo prisoners help make pound dogs more adoptable

Lucas Co. Dog Warden getting help from Toledo inmates in helping to train dogs / WNWO Newsfile

A program through which Toledo prison inmates train pound dogs to help them get adopted has graduated its first class of four canine students.

The Toledo Blade reports the Lucas County Dog Warden's program called Ph.D. - Prisoners Helping Dogs - operates at the Toledo Correctional Institution.

It started in February, using minimum-security inmates at the Toledo institution's prison camp, now closed due to state budget cuts. Now it uses inmates who are close-security, the third level in the state's five-level system.

A shepherd dog named Pudgie spent weeks with a former death row inmate and a man convicted of burglary and other crimes.

John Spirko, whose death sentence was commuted, says Pudgie taught him companionship.

Trainer David Brody, who's serving 17 years, says he learned patience.