La. inmates help rehabilitate dogs rescued from South Korean slaughterhouse

Updated: Jan. 31, 2019 at 4:33 PM CST
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JACKSON, LA (WAFB) - They were destined for the dinner table in Korea. Now, they are safe in Louisiana.

You wouldn’t think being dropped off at an animal shelter would be good news for a dog, but for these ten Jindos, the East Feliciana Welfare Society’s shelter may as well be heaven. These sad pups were raised to be slaughtered and served in restaurants all over Korea.


“Humane Society International has given these farmers other options for their land, so they are rescuing these dogs,” said Col. John Smith with Dixon Correctional Institute (DCI). “Our job here is going to be to slowly build them up and get them accustom to people.”

That job falls on nine prisoners at DCI since the parish animal shelter is inside the prison. The Pen Pals Program is the only one like it in the country.

"I thought I knew a lot about dogs until I started the program, said Josh Fleetwood, just one of the inmates responsible for caring for the dogs. He’s serving 12 years on drug charges. With the help of volunteer vets, Fleetwood and the other inmates do everything from cleaning cages, to assisting with surgeries, to some basic obedience training.

RELATED: Dogs rescued from dinner table now live at Louisiana prison

“It teaches you patience. You can’t be overly assertive. You have to let them break through their own shell on their own time," Fleetwood said. It’s changing the lives of the animals as well as the inmates.


“Realizing that it’s not always about you. There are other dogs, cats, people that you have to be cognizant about when you make decisions on how you behave on a daily basis,” Fleetwood said. Looking around the shelter, it’s not clear who is saving who.

“Honestly, without it, I don’t think I would have stopped. It was either this or an early grave,” Fleetwood said.

Fleetwood will be ready for release as a vet’s assistant in three years, and the pups will be ready for adoption a lot sooner.

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