Prison Greyhounds trains former racing dogs to be housepets

Joy still carries the scars of her former life as a racing greyhound. She might have gotten them from rubbing against the chute, coming in contact with the nail of another dog or a rough edge in her kennel crate, said Barb Beltinck of New Haven, who adopted her.

Beltinck and her husband, Al, brought Joy and one of their other greyhounds, Macy, 7, on Saturday to Petco to promote Prison Greyhounds.

“Inmates train them from being the athlete to being a home pet,” Barb Beltinck said.

Inmates at Putnamville Correctional Facility near Greencastle follow a two-month curriculum to train the retired racing dogs, which come from Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club in Florida. Once the dogs graduate, they’re ready for adoption.

“The crates of the dogs are right next to (the inmates’) bunks,” said Beltinck, who also adopted Tanna, 11, and fosters other dogs through the program.

While some people ask if the dogs are “hyper,” that’s only when they go into a fenced area and run in circles, Beltinck said. Then it’s time to relax.

“They call them 45 mph couch potatoes,” she said.

The group has four female and three male dogs currently available for adoption. The dogs are usually 18 months-5 years old. Some get along with other dog breeds and cats.

The program’s $275 adoption fee for each dog covers neutering/spaying, heartworm testing, shots, teeth cleaning and a collar and leash.

For information on the program, go to www.PrisonGreyhounds.org or www.facebook.com/PrisonGreyhounds.

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