A joint program between the Erath County Sheriff’s Office and Erath County Humane Society is giving female inmates the chance to give back to the community while lending some much-needed help to the animal shelter.

“This is a program we have been trying to get started for a long time,” said Serena Wright, the newly-appointed executive director of ECHS. ‘We are excited that it’s finally happened.”

The new program began Wednesday and puts female jail trustees to work at the shelter three mornings a week, cleaning pens and working with the animals. 

“This is the first trustee program we have had for female inmates,” said jail administrator Vanessa Griffin. “It gets them out of the jail and gives them a chance to give back to their community. They enjoy the animals.”

Wright said the animals enjoy the extra attention as well.

“The human interaction calms (the animals) down, which makes it easier for them to get adopted,” Wright said. 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

ECHS has remained at full capacity for months.   

Wright said her top priorities are recruiting new volunteers and finding permanent homes for the 65 dogs and more than 40 cats currently housed at the shelter. 

“We are having an adoption event this week and residents can adopt some of the pets at a discounted price - for $20,” she said.

The event will take place Thursday, Friday and from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“There are lots of opportunities for volunteers to get involved, so we hope the public will stop by,” Wright said.