DUVAL COUNTY

Dogs rescued from Louisiana floods to help teach Florida inmates life skills

Historic flooding in Louisiana left thousands of people homeless. Many of them found temporary homes in shelters, but many pets were not as fortunate.

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"There are very few pet friendly shelters, so unfortunately some people have no choice -- they can't bring their dogs or cats or animals with them," said Jen Deane of the nonprofit Pit Sisters.

On Monday, WJAX met Allie and Atlas. They, along with Zoey, Collette and Boudin, were displaced by the flooding in Louisiana. Deane coordinated with other organizations to help bring them to Jacksonville, Florida.

"(We're) working on getting them vet care, getting them spayed and neutered, vaccinated and ready to go," Deane said.

>> Related: Dramatic videos show how Louisiana's historic floods have devastated communities

The dogs' journey doesn't end there. All five will participate in the Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills, or TAILS, program.

"What we've heard from the inmates that participate is (that) they learn patience, they learn team work, they learn responsibility,"  Deane said.

As the dogs become accustomed to Florida, the rescued animals will be the ones doing all the rescuing.

"We've seen firsthand folks that have changed completely just by interacting with one dog," Deane said.

>> Related: Louisiana flooding: What is a 500-year flood and why is it happening so much?

And it's a win-win situation because once the dogs complete the program they'll be trained, which helps them become more adoptable.

"The TAILS program is a huge lifesaving effort. One of the top reasons for folks turning in their animals to shelters is training," Deane said.

After the dogs finish their eight weeks of training for the TAILS program, they'll be available for adoption. Pit Sisters is also looking for sponsors to help pay for the training the dogs will receive.

Meet Collette, Allie, Atlas, Boudin, and Zoey. They were all rescued after being displaced from the flooding in...

Posted by Lorena Inclán Action News Jax on Monday, September 5, 2016

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