Good News: Operation New Hope - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Good News: Operation New Hope

Good News: Operation New Hope

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Lynn Stratton and her mother went straight to jail Saturday morning.

“We were here early, we came from Beaufort,’’ said Stratton, who attended the dog adoption event at the Chatham County Jail. “We're hoping, we're keeping our fingers crossed.’’

They got their wish and the dog they wanted, at the 40th Operation New Hope adoption event, the latest opportunity for prospective pet owners to meet and go home with dogs. It gives them a second chance for love at first sight.

"All the dogs were adopted today within the hour,’’ said Megan Collins, of the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. “We had people lined up waiting, so we were able to get everyone adopted out in the first hour.’’

The partnership between the Humane Society and the county jail is typically that successful.

Dogs get four weeks of training from inmates, who get a positive emotional outlet helping families get new pets.

"We train them as far as sit down, get oriented with people,’’ said Arsinio Robinson, one of the inmate trainers in the program. “Some dogs don't like other dogs, so we get them to play and get around each other. Also, we are saving a life. That's the most important thing.’’

The Humane Society sometimes selects dogs for the program that are found to have behavioral issues and would benefit from close personal contact.

It also sends dogs who might need a little help being placed with families.

“They're animals that are on our adoption floor who are maybe not getting adopted as quickly as we hoped,’’ said Collins, “So, they are chosen for our Operation New Hope Program and are trained to become more adoptable.’’

The program has also been a blessing for the work-release inmates who are chosen to participate in it.

"Coming into the program, I was aggressive and I had a lot of things going on personally with myself,’’ said Robinson. “With me being able to connect with a dog on an emotional level, it really helped me a lot.’’

As has been the case with nearly 400 dogs since the program started, Operation New Hope helped achieved its goal of turning around lives while making families whole, including Stratton’s mother, who went home with a new dog.

“I called (the Humane Society) and the dog was in the program,’’ said Stratton. “So, we had to come here instead of going to the shelter.’’

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