Benner Township Celebrates Dog Program, Named Foster Home of the Year
October 31, 2019 12:00 AM
On Sept. 5, SCI Benner Township held a celebration for the six-year anniversary of A Dog's Tale From Jail, the facility's dog program. Benner's kitchen and staff catered pizza and cake for the anniversary party, and participants gathered together and reminisced about their favorite dogs and dog moments. Toni Duchi, of Nittany Greyhound, Inc., presented the 2019 Foster Home of the Year award to SCI Benner Township K-9 Handlers.
A Dog's Tale From Jail was founded by Pam Graci, Benner Township's current Canine Handler Trainer. The program partners with Nittany Greyhound & Rondout Kennels (New York) to find adoptive homes for the rescues. Nittany Greyhound rescues retired and injured Greyhounds from the racetracks. The greyhounds come to the prison program to be socialized and trained for life in a home. The majority of them have never been anywhere but the racetracks and are completely unfamiliar with basic home living. For example, the inmate handlers have to physically teach them how to walk up and down stairs, with one in front of the dog and one behind the dog, moving their paws step by step for the first time. The Greyhounds typically stay for six weeks and then are picked up by their adoptive families.
Rondout Kennels sends hard-to-place dogs to the program. These dogs are typically ones that have been adopted and returned and/or have been at the shelter for significant periods of time. They come to the program and remain until adoptive homes are secured. A Dog's Tale From Jail has had nearly 90 dogs come through the program in its six years.