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County Supervisor Suggests Putting An Animal Rescue In A Prison

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L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has suggested that an animal shelter be incorporated into the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. The shelter would house cats and dogs, and prisoners would learn to properly care for them, the L.A. Times reports.

Antonovich believes that this move would be mutually beneficial. The animals would have a place to go aside from an overcrowded shelter where they might face euthanization, and inmates would have the opportunity to socialize with animals and learn a skill.

"Such a program would be a cost-effective and progressive way to integrate the needed care of animals with positive benefits to our inmates," he said.

Antonovich, along with fellow Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, have asked for a report on this possibility from the Sheriff's Department and county animal welfare agencies in 30 days.

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This is not a unique idea, as Antonovich was able to point to several similar programs across the country. In nearby Lancaster, there are about 50 deaf dogs from the Deaf Dog Rescue of America being cared for by inmates. The shelter was evacuated as the Sand Fire grew.

Another program is the Prison Pet Partnership, which is located at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor. Here, inmates board and groom homeless dogs and train them to be service animals. Inmates also work in the organization's office in order to learn clerical skills. Each inmate will work with the organization for at least two years at a time.

As for Antonovich, animal rescue seems to be one of his passions. He takes a weekly photo with at least one adoptable animal that he declares his "Pet of the Week" in an attempt to find that animal a home. Here some recent cuties to receive the honor.

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