Gwinnett county jail dog program

Gwinnett county jail dog program DEFAULT

Jail Dog mascot in search of forever home gets a happy ending

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -  After several failed adoptions, a special dog in search of a forever home now has a happy ending to his story. Bandit the jail dog has been successfully placed with a new family.

Gwinnett County jail dog finds his forever home

Bandit the jail dog has been successfully placed with a new family.

When FOX 5 first introduced you to him in 2017, the dog had already spent three years in Gwinnett County's Jail Dog program. 

This is the fourth time Bandit's been adopted and the Riders are eager to introduce him to his new home.

From the moment Darrell Rider saw Bandit online there was an instant connection.

"When you look at his paralysis waist down – same thing I have – that was really kind of a big kind of attraction that really got the ball rolling. Certainly, you don't go into this kind of thing lightly", Rider told FOX 5.

Rider was born with spina bifida and has faced his own challenges in life, which gives him unique insight into what's required to care for a dog with special needs.

From the moment Darrell Rider saw Bandit online there was an instant connection.

 "The things I read about Bandit, the videos we saw, he kind of had the same mindset I had," he said. "It seemed to me it was the right thing to do, it was a good fit to make sure he had someone who really understood him."

Inmate Brandon Tredo starting looking after Bandit last year and admits this was an emotional day.

" I've been with him for four months. I've been with him every day," Tredo said. "I know he's going to going to a good home."

Gwinnett County Sheriff's spokesman Deputy Shannon Volkodav said it's wonderful to see Bandit placed with a loving family.

" We could not be more happy that Bandit has found a home, Vokodav said. "We knew that it was only a matter of time before the right family came along."


Operation Second Chance

The Operation Second Chance program was established in 2010 as a partnership between the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia. Male inmates are given the opportunity to provide foster care and obedience training to the homeless dogs of Gwinnett County. Animal professionals visit The Gwinnett County Detention Center three times a week to teach inmates how to train and care for the dogs. In 2013, the Jail Dogs Program added cats into the equation for female inmates. More than 500 dogs and 60 cats have been adopted into new homes. 

This program offers both the inmates and the rescue dogs and cats a second chance on life.

For more Information on Operation Second Chance

Society of Humane Friends of Georgia
P.O. Box 1416
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

[email protected]


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GWINNETT COUNTY, GA — On Monday, the 1,001st dog to participate in the Gwinnett Jail Dog Program was officially adopted as part of Operation Second Chance. The program has been active in the community for 11 years. The program began as a partnership between the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office and the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia, the sheriff's office noted. The goal of the program is to rescue dogs and cats and provide them with foster care and basic obedience training by residents at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

On Monday alone, the detention center saw seven of its four-legged participants be adopted. More than 100 cats have been adopted through the program, too. To learn more about Operation Second Chance, including what dogs and cats available for adoption, visit

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Dogs Behind Bars: Inmates as Dog Trainers - Free Doc Bites - Free Documentary

Baldwin County Jail Dog Program

Our Mission

We partner dogs on the euthanasia list at our local shelter with prison inmates who are selected to learn how to train the dogs in basic obedience to help them become more adoptable. The dogs live 24-7 with the inmates in their cells within a dorm of 65-75 other inmates for approximately 10-12 weeks. Upon graduation, the dogs are posted for adoption. Dogs learn sit, down, come, go to your spot, stay, wait, give, leave it, drop it, house and crate training, along with basic good manners.

Adoption Policy

Dogs in our program live and train with prison inmates. Meet and greets are scheduled only for approved adopters, and are conducted away from the prison.

Potential adopters are approved through a review of their adoption application.

We ask that all human family members and other dogs living in the home come to the meet and greet.

We do not adopt our dogs into homes with children under 4 years of age. Children ages 4-8 are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Cat tests can be done upon request from approved adopters.

Home checks are conducted at the time our dogs are delivered to their forever home by the program instructor.


County jail dog program gwinnett

At the Gwinnett County Jail,  a program called ‘Operation Second Chance’ gives inmates the opportunity to rescue dogs in need of loving homes.

The idea began back in 2010, with a partnership with the Georgia Society of Human Friends.

  • Brodie relaxes in the lap of one of the Operation Second Chance volunteers. (Joy Barge)

  • Trainers can design name tags for their dogs, which live with them part-time in their cells. (Joy Barge)

  • Cersei is a German Shepherd and has been in the Operation Second Chance program at Gwinnett County Jail for a few months. (Joy Barge)

  • Brodie, the long haired chihuahua, in the cell with his trainer. Dogs sleep with their assigned trainers in their cells. (Joy Barge)

  • Operation Second Chance is a rehabilitation program for dogs and inmates at Gwinnett County Jail. (Joy Barge)

  • Deputy Cody Walker is the Operation Second Chance Coordinator at Gwinnett County Jail. (Joy Barge)

  • Deputy Cody Walker keeps a list of the dogs that are currently in the jail dog program. They are graded on their strengths, weaknesses and readiness for adoption. (Joy Barge)

  • Max sits for his trainer. (Joy Barge)

Since then, the program has grown to include more dogs and more adoptions. Last year, the program celebrated its ninth year and its 500th rescue dog adoption.

To hear more about how the program has grown since it first began, the “Closer Look with Rose Scott” team visited the jail in 2019 to speak with Deputy Cody Walker and to meet some of the inmate handlers and their dogs.

Hear the full story above.

WABE’s Joy Barge contributed to this report.


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