Dogs learn obedience from McNaughton Correctional Center inmates
Story By Shardaa Gray
Photos By Shardaa Gray
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.
- Dr. Lewis Jacobson of Eagle River was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight last week. Nearly seventy years ago, he came home from Europe. He was a young, Jewish, American soldier who spent a year and half fighting Hitler's war machine.
- Plus, tomatoes brought in from warmer parts of the country this time of year can often be tasteless. Some supermarkets bring those tomatoes in because most local tomatoes aren't ripe. But one local family-owned greenhouse is ready for harvest. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Antigo to find out how they do it.
We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
WISCONSIN - Wisconsin Public Service encourages any emergency responders to apply for its "Safety is Worth the Energy" grants. It will award 25 $2,000 grants this year.
All of WPS's service area can apply. Money is used for departments to provide special equipment or training which they otherwise wouldn't have.
"This is the second year we're offering the "Safety is Worth the Energy" grant for our local emergency responders in our service area," said WPS Community Relations Leader Leah Van Zile. "That would be fire departments, emergency rescue squads, police departments."
WASHINGTON, DC - A retired Northwoods doctor from Eagle River flew to Washington, DC last week. Dr. Lewis Jacobson was one of 27 World War II veterans from northcentral Wisconsin participating in the 19th Never Forgotten Honor Flight. Nearly seventy years ago, he came home from Europe. He was a young, Jewish, American soldier who spent a year and half fighting Hitler's war machine.
"I served from July of 1943 to early January of 1946, a total of about two and a half years, and 18 months was with service overseas in Europe: England, France, and Germany," Jacobson explained.
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