In the fall of 2019 the Ontario County Jail began its first ever Jail and T.A.I.L.S (Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills) program. We partnered with the Ontario County Humane Society and selected our first K-9 to participate in the program. The dog selected was a mix boarder collie which was named "Rosie", after long time jail matron Rosie Marrow.
Rosie was assigned an inmate who was interviewed and selected by a panel of Corrections staff and lived at the jail for six weeks. Both Rosie and the inmate shared a housing unit cell with the goal that Rosie be taught obedience, socialization skills and behavior skills. The inmate was taught how to provide these skills by deputies who were familiar with K-9 training. Once the inmate is released, he or she would have learned new skills that could help them get a job in the animal care field.
Rosie graduated from the program with high honors, and was adopted by one of the corrections staff. The program has proven to be a huge success and was beneficial for the moral of both the inmates and corrections staff. The program had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a new dog will be selected in January 2021, and the goal of Sheriff Henderson is to continue this program.