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New program helps to give inmates, dogs a new 'leash' on life

Lollypop Farm is working with the Monroe Correctional Facility to match unadoptable dogs with inmates. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - It's a pun worth hearing: a new leash on life.

Lollypop Farm is working with the Monroe Correctional Facility to match unadoptable dogs with inmates.

So far, 13 inmates have completed training with the Humane Society. As part of the training, they care for and train the dogs and keep a journal of the dog's progress.

The journal helps Lollypop look at how the dogs progress and helps them to get adopted.

Inmates say this experience helps them to learn patience, tolerance, persistence and empathy.

"Guys coming up, you can see guys are happy, saying hi to Rugby," said Geno Tavolino, one of the certified dog handlers. "[As for] myself, it relieves stress that you can't handle inside here but it feels good to have a good companion with you."

For now, Rugby is the only dog at the jail, but organizers are working to bring more dogs over soon.

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