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Local police department, corrections center join forces for four-legged friends

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - Boardman Police now have a place to temporarily house lost and neglected dogs when the dog warden or humane agents are unavailable.

Corrections Corporation of America's (CCA) Northeast Ohio Correctional Center inmates built the doghouses for police.

Home Depot provided kennels for a discount, PetSmart donated supplies and Boy Scouts volunteered.

Coordinators say it's a win-win for the community.

"The inmates are able to take this and learn a valuable skill which when they leave prison that they can use on their own," said Jim Conroy, Northeast Ohio Correctional Center Special Investigative Supervisor.

Boardman Police Officer Jack Neapolitan said "I've taken numerous dogs home during my career. They typically get lost during a time when the dog warden's not available- evenings and weekends. So now we have a really safe, really secure place for the Boardman Police Department to keep the dogs until we can either reunite them with the owners or until we can contact the dog warden."

Police stress that the department is not a drop off site for animals.

"If they find a lost dog they'll need to hang onto the dog until Monday morning or until the following morning during the week. Contact the dog warden the same as us (police)" said Neapolitan.

According to a press release from CCA, police will also be able to temporarily house dogs that are left behind when its owners are arrested or are fleeing a domestic violence situation too.

Inmates are also giving doghouses to Mahoning and Columbiana County humane agencies. They plan to expand the program to other police departments.

In the spring, the Boy Scouts will help police put down a cement pad outside the police department and move the kennels.

One other group that is pledging to support the effort is the Paul C. Bunn Elementary School first graders in room 137. They will be donating dog treats for the first tenant.

 

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