Forsyth Humane Society

Providing animal resource information, animal education, low cost spay / neuter assistance, and promotion of responsible pet ownership to Winston-Salem for over 70 years.

New Leash On Life

Please join us for the graduation of our current class of dogs from our New Leash on Life Program.

  • May 8th, 2014 Forsyth Correctional Center 307 Craft Drive Winston-Salem 27105

Program begins at 5:30.

Meet the inmate trainers, dogs, staff and volunteers of the Forsyth Humane Society, Forsyth Correctional Center, and Winston-Salem Dog Training Club as they celebrate successful completion of a 10 week obedience training session. Light refreshments are provided.

The concept of dogs in prison is not new. In 1981, Sister Pauline Quinn, a Dominican nun in Washington State, devised a plan to teach inmates to train dogs for the disabled. Since 1981, it and similar programs have spread throughout the country. A New Leash on Life was started in North Carolina prisons in 2004 thanks to the determination of Secretary Theodis Beck, North Carolina Dept of Correction. Currently, North Carolina hasover 16 “A New Leash on Life” programs successfully operating in across our state.

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The state coordinator of the program is Ms. Lakeshia Jones. In Winston-Salem, A New Leash on Life is housed at the minimum-security Forsyth Correctional Center. Homeless dogs are paired with qualifying prisoners, and receive socialization, crate-training, basic obedience skills, and agility training. Inmates must go through an extensive application process before being approved into the program. Qualifying inmates work with professional dog trainers, and learn positive-reinforcement training methods. Dogs, too, are chosen carefully by our Lead Trainer, Pam Robbins, and Humane Society staff members.

For ten weeks, the dogs live and work with the inmate-trainers, sleeping in a special Doggie Dorm at night. After “graduating” from the program, the dogs are ready to become the newest member of an adoptive family, and more dogs are teamed with the inmate trainers. There are currently 6 inmates and 4 dogs in each session. A New Leash on Life offers both humans and canines a new chance, helping inmates become productive members of society, develop marketable skills, patience and discipline.

Perhaps most importantly, they learn to give and receive unconditional love. The selected dogs all have behavioral problems: some are too rambunctious, others too shy. They learn trust and confidence, and they are trained to become welcome members of a family. Obviously both men AND dogs are given a new leash on life. This program receives no state funding, and is dependent upon community donations. To find out more about this program, or to make a donation, please contact our Adoption Center Director, Jill Kerridge at or call (253) 569-8514.

Simply call the Forsyth Humane Society at 336 721-1303, ext. 101 or 102, or go by our Adoption Center at 61 Miller Street, Winston-Salem, to talk to our staff. If there’s a particular dog who interests you, put in an adoption application. If you’re approved, you can visit the dog at our training center at the Forsyth Correctional Center, accompanied by a Forsyth Humane Society representative, to meet the dog and ask questions of the trainer. It’s easy, and a wonderful way to get a well-trained dog and support our important work. IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING ADOPTING, OR EVEN INTERESTED IN HOW TO ADOPT, A NEW LEASH ON LIFE DOG, IT’S EASY!


new-leash-online-storeYou can really show your support for this life-changing program by purchasing items with the beautiful New Leash on Life logo. Your purchase will benefit this program, helping both the dogs and men who depend on us for support. Cool T-shirts, fabulous tote bags, mugs, stickers… there’s lots of great stuff. Please take a look, make a purchase, and become a supporter. Thank you. To start shopping, click here.

Meet our New Leash on Life Dogs

View all adoptable pets »