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Blackburn’s Canine Companions

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Blackburn’s Canine Companions program graduated it’s first six dogs who were taken back to the Lexington Humane Society for possible adoption after the ceremony. Twelve inmates at Blackburn Correctional Complex, a minimum security prison, were tasked with training the dogs so they would become more adoptable. The program is a joint venture between Blackburn and the Lexington Humane Society. It began with 12 inmates who were selected after completing interviews with both BCC staff and staff members of the Lexington Humane Society. The inmates are assigned in teams, two per each animal. Inmates are responsible for their dogs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Photo by David Stephenson | Staff

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11 Responses to “Blackburn’s Canine Companions”
  1. Suzie says:

    Awesome program. My great dog came from the Death Row Dogs program in Muhlenberg County. It is exciting that we now have a program in Fayette County. Hopefully, they will be able to expand it to more dogs ASAP. Thanks!

  2. Cheri says:

    In addition to helping the dogs, they in turn help the inmates. There is nothing more satisfying than having a dog to care for. They turn the negatives into positive and may be a more effective tool in rehabilitating. Knowing that they have provided something for someone else truly is ‘giving back.”

  3. Mack says:

    I agree that it is a nice program, however, I have one major concern. I know that at LSCC they allow the dogs to run around on the yard and bullpen without a lead…and also get some aggressive dog breeds. Also, this is mixed with the fact that if any of the dogs were abused it may make them more likely to act out if they feel threatened. If this were the case, then what would be the legal position of the state if a non-handler inmate were bitten? I may be wrong, but I think the state would be liable due to the fact general population have no choice when it involves coming in contact with these dogs.
    I think overall, however, it is a great program. It actually shocked me at how well the inmates train the dogs to follow commands. Hopefully it will help some of these dogs to find good homes. If anyone has anything to add or correct in this post please feel free.

  4. Tom says:

    I think this is a great program. Keep up the good work.

  5. Tasha Wilson says:

    I think the prgram is wonderful, my lil bro was a part of this program and the inmates get so attached to these animals and work very hard for their canine companion. They were very sad to their dogs go. I think they need to continue with the program.

  6. MHK says:

    A great idea, Mr. Howerton, Warden at Blackburn. The dogs need companions and so do the inmates. A great combination.

  7. Dora Vance says:

    My brother sent my Mom and I a picture of himself with one of the dogs and he looked happier than he had looked in years. Giving him something to take care of has really helped him and he said he had grown so attached to the dog. Keep up the good work. Some people think that just because someone is locked up that they don’t matter any more this could be further from the truth.

  8. Davetta says:

    I adopted my very loved and spoiled dog from the Lexington Humane Society, and he was trained in the Blackburn Facility. I just wanted to let you all know you all did a wonderful job, Chico is an awesome companion. He is very well trained, and having a large dog in the house can be challenging, but not for us. Thanks again!

  9. Jared James says:

    I was at blackburn when they started the program and had my parents come and adopt a dog named tugger which we call scooby. I loved him while he was being trained and had to see him every chance i had. Nothing has changed since then. He is a big boxer greatdane mix and is the best house dog you can have. He has made such a great part of my family. His favorite thing to do is ride in the car. people think hes a human when they drive next to me. he sits up like a human and you can fasten a seatbelt around his chest. I have people all the time asking to buy him but you cant put a price on him. I tell them to go and get one from the shelter and get your own tugger. I want to thank you all so much as well as warden Howerton and especially Mr. Hockinsmith. I have tried to reach mr. hockensmith online so he can find tugger a good companion. If you see him please give him my email
    Thank you
    Jared James

  10. Jared James says:

    I noticed that my best friend and big dog is the center dog in the picture and he says hi to everyone he is trying to talk now and is such a gentle dog to be so big

  11. I’m glad too see that the program is still running strong,i once perticipated in that program and it helped out wonderfully with me;I had a nice time and expierence working with the dogs we got and was proud too see all 17 dogs i had a chance too train get adoptted after finishing there training with me…I now have 3 Pitbull puppies of my own that the traing I learned there through the help of the Lexington Humane Society,they are wonderfull…keep helping those that need a home. GOD BLESS YOU ALL, Critt

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