Inmate program gives abandoned dog new leash on life

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Abandoned dog Sweet Pea gets a new leash on life with special inmate program. (WPVI)

A dog that was left for dead in a Camden garbage dump is getting an opportunity to help changes lives.

"Sweet Pea" has been chosen to participate in the "New Leash on Life USA" program at the Philadelphia Prison System in Northeast Philadelphia.

She and other dogs were dropped off Tuesday where they'll spend the next 12 weeks with inmates.

Both organizers and inmates call it a life-changing experience.

"It's unconditional love really. These dogs don't care where they've been, they don't care what they've done, they don't care why they're here, they just care the fact that these guys love them," said Waleed Yousef, director of Adoptions and Volunteer Services.

Through the program, the inmates will serve as trainers, teaching the dogs obedience and socialization to prepare them for adoption.

"To me honestly, it's just like a second chance for both of us. So I'm looking forward to the challenge," said inmate Dayton Mairena.

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