Shelter dogs get foster homes at McMinn County jail - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Shelter dogs get foster homes at McMinn County jail

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  A few pups are getting a second chance at life behind bars.

The McMinn regional humane society took 5 dogs to the McMinn county jail be fostered by inmates, in hopes they'll be made more adoptable.

It's all a part of a challenge for the Humane Society to receive several thousand dollars in grant money. But there's a catch, they have to beat their adoption numbers from last summer to get it.

So they're working to make their pets more adoptable by putting them in foster homes to give them the one-on-one time they need.      

But they're staying in a place you wouldn't expect and melting the hearts of those they're.

"Yeah, came straight to me," said Gillespie. "I love dogs."

Now Carlos Gillespie has a new best friend.

"This is Jarvis, he looks like he has a lot of love and needs a lot of love," said Gillespie.

Gillespie is one of 5 McMinn County inmates, chosen to spend the next 10 days sharing his cell with a furry friend in hopes of teaching them a thing or two to make them more adoptable.

"Just some obedience and he loves to play so I'm going to teach him a few small tricks if I can," said Gillespie.

"It gives them the opportunity to have the one on one time and lets them learn not to jump on people," said Jill Davis, Volunteer at McMinn County Regional Humane Society.

Dogs like this one are only guaranteed 8 days in the shelter, some given up to 30 before being put down.

For these five dogs and their temporary foster-parents, a second chance at happiness is being granted.

"I feel good, I need something to do, you know I get down sometimes in my situation and I know he probably gets down too being in the shelter," said Gillespie.

And these inmates won't be bored while caring for their energetic foster pets.

"They'll be responsible for their feeding, grooming everything for the next 10 days and they'll be with them the entire time," said Sheriff Joe Guy.

While Gillespie is planning to teach his new-found friend a few new traits, he tells me he knows he will take something from the experience too.

"Patience, patience, I'm sure he will make them a lot better and understanding," said Gillespie.

Traits Sheriff Guys says will be useful later on after their debt to society is paid.

"Develop just that type of attitude that they can carry outside of the jail, that something else is important maybe than some of the things they have faced before in their lives," said Sheriff Guy.

Sheriff Guy says they hope to make this a full-time program and bring in more dogs.

All of the food and crates for the dogs are being donated by the humane society.

If the humane society is able to reach their goal and win a little cash, they tell me all of the fund will go towards new and old facilities to help make more adoptions possible.

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