YACOLT, WA – It is an unusual place to form a bond.
“I know the animals needed love. I knew that I was able to provide that. Maybe learn some responsibility.”
Inside Larch Corrections Center, Demetrius Route is teaching Izzy, a Shepherd mix, the skills and manners that will help her find a home.
“This is my fourth dog that’s going to get adopted. So, three already adopted, and this is my fourth,” Route said.
Route and the other men in this room were hand-picked to train dogs rescued by the Humane Society for Southwest Washington – a mission to make them more likely to be adopted.
“It’s definitely a win-win. The dogs get a second chance. The handlers get the opportunity to learn some life skills.”
Simple commands, like “sit” and “stay.” Learning to trust and listen to their handlers who, in turn, listen to them.
“It takes as much for me with him, me listening to him. Because he’s been through a lot, too. So, if I can understand everything he’s been through, it helps us both out.”
Christopher Baker has served three-and-a-half years for violating a no-contact order. Like the other handlers, he’s…