Operation New Hope seeks to expand community partnerships

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Behind barbed wire and several automated locked doors of the Chatham County Jail, second chances are not only found but celebrated.

Operation New Hope connects dogs in need of behavior or physical rehab before a possible adoption with an inmate.

Currently there are 14 dogs paired up with seven men and seven women. The program brings in a new class of dogs every four weeks.

“I just love the way it brings some of the dogs back to life,” Inmate Katie Kirkpatrick said. “Like this one {she says motioning to a dog} was totally scared couldn’t do anything for anybody and just giving up on life and she’s really coming out of her shell thanks this one right here.”

While Operation New Hope with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Companions for Heroes, which connects rehab dogs and cats with veterans, active duty members and first responders, ONH is looking to expand its partnerships.

“We save their life. They, in return, save our life and get our life back,” Companions for Heroes founder David Sharpe said.

On Thursday the group help an open hour for potential partners throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. Groups like One Love and Palmetto Animal League learned about the program and got to see first hand the currently expansion project, set to be finished in Spring 2018. The construction project looks to add units to the jail to be able to house 30 dogs and their inmates together at one time.

Check out the group’s Facebook page to learn about partnering up. The partnerships look to connect shelters and rescue organization in providing dogs to the ONH inmates in order to rehab the dogs and provide companionship and life skills to inmates.

 

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