HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s prison agency said Wednesday it has suspended one facility’s program allowing inmates to prepare rescued pets for adoption after a prison worker and an inmate were bitten by dogs in separate incidents in recent months.
The civilian worker required stitches for a bite in the face, and the inmate suffered a puncture wound to his hand, a spokesman said.
The suspension of the Prison Pets program at the medium-security Maryland Correctional Training Center near Hagerstown does not affect animal-centered programs at nine other Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services institutions, including two programs similar to Prison Pets, spokesman Robert Thomas said. Most of the other programs involve inmates training service dogs.
Thomas said the Prison Pets program was launched at the 180-bed prison with good intentions but without higher approval of any guidelines or agreements with the animal shelters that supplied the dogs and cats, which otherwise would have been euthanized.