Greyhound racing dogs have very limited social skills as they have spent all of their lives in very sheltered and regimented lives. These dogs have never been exposed to normal daily sights and sounds, cars, children, television, stairs, kitchen and street noises. As a result, once Greyhounds are retired from the track, usually around 2 years of age, they are curious and frightened of their world beyond the racetrack.
Greyhound dogs make wonderful pets as they are very loving and gentle. However, for a retired race dog to go straight from the racetrack into an adopted home they need a transition place to learn social skills.
Team Canine has partnered with Arizona's 2nd Chance at Life Greyhound and Inmate Prison Program. The program takes retired race dogs, have them spayed or neutered and places them in select prisons. At the Saguaro Correctional Facility in Eloy, AZ, lucky inmates get to work with Greyhound dogs. In charge of this innovative program is Dan King, founder of Fast Dogs-Fast Friends. Brad who works with Fast Dogs-Fast Friends heads over to the correctional facility and works with the inmates in training these dogs.
Because these dogs have never lived in a home environment before, they must be taught everything from being house broken to basic obedience tasks. Very strict qualifications are required for the choosing of these inmates to be able to work with and train these very special dogs.
The focus of this Fast Dogs-Fast Friends program is not just to teach the prisoners how to train dogs, but to be able to learn how to be dog trainers as well. The inmates will receive professional training using a very gentle and compassionate training method. If and when the prisoners are every released, they will have very valuable dog training skills that they can use to find employment.
Fast Dogs-Fast Friends are hoping to expand to other correctional facilities and to be able to include more inmate handlers. Currently, the program allows eight dogs at all times in the facility. As soon as the Greyhound is ready for adoption and is adopted, new dogs enter the facility.
The value of this wonderful program is beyond invaluable. Greyhound dogs lives are saved and the dog handlers learn about responsibility and most importantly--unconditional love.