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Former PA Governor wants to pair pooches with prisoners

Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell only recently left office, but that doesn't mean he's going to give up working to improve the lives of people in his state. In fact, the politician recently announced that he hopes to create a program that would place animals in need of a home with prisoners who are capable of caring for the canines, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Several prisons, including four in Pennsylvania, have similar programs. In some of those facilities, prisoners take classes on caring for animals to ensure that they will treat their new pets with respect and care.

"It works for everybody," Kelly McGinley, coordinator of the Hounds of Prison Education (HOPE) Program, told the news source. "It provides dogs with training and socialization, while foster groups work on placing them with families. At the same time, it has a calming effect on prisoners - even those not involved in the program."

Inmates who have not had any disciplinary issues in the past year will be eligible to take part in the program.

According to Newsweek, caring for a dog can offer sincere mental health benefits, such as combating loneliness and helping one form a daily routine. 
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