LAKE TOMAHAWK - Animal shelters need all the help they can get placing pets with families in the community.
A Northwoods humane society has found that help from a couple of inmates.
It's not every day inmates hear panting at the McNaughton Correctional Center.
"I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems a lot less like an institution and more like a town, let's say. The attitudes reflect that." said McNaughton Correctional Center Superintendent, Brad Koshbab.
"I couldn't ever imagine having a dog program like this in a prison setting," said McNaughton House Inmate, Stewart Gasper.
"Here it is. It's great."
The correctional center recently teamed up with the Oneida County Humane Society to start a dog program called New Beginnings.
Six dogs are brought in for a six week training at the facility.
"We're teaching these dogs basic commands so that they can find a good home," inmate, John Rassbach said.
"When they do get to a good home, they'll know how to act and not be chewing things up. And just learning how to behave in a normal environment."
Some of the dogs that come in don't always have the best background.
Two year old Bea was starved.
"You can see the change just the brief time that they're here just to go from maybe anti-social animal, to the outgoing, more loving," said inmate Joseph Athans.
"Like Bea, who you seen earlier. She was more skidish and stuff and now she's already opened up in a few days."
Getting these dogs ready for adoption often means teaching obedience and social skills.
That usually requires a lot of patience.
"They all need to be loved and cared for and they do need a very good home to go to," Rassbach said.
"That's what they need and that's what they're here for."
"You learn how to nurture an animal and be loving, kind, considerate, a provider and care giver." Gasper said.
MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.
For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.
The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.
Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.
Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.
The goal is 175,000 packed meals.
Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.
"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.
Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.
The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.
Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.
"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.
Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.
The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.
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