Impact Georgia Magazine April - Page 9


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Lee Arrendale Hosts Equine Auction

GDC Partners with Dept. of Agriculture

On March 16, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA), hosted an Equine Auction at the Lee Arrendale State Prison (LASP) Equine Center in Alto, Ga., as part of a partnership to rescue and rehabilitate abused or neglected horses. More than $2,000 was raised during the auction, and will be used to aid in the rehabilitation of horses which have been taken in by Georgia DOA.

“We appreciate our partnership with the Georgia Department of Agriculture on a program that not only gives the horses a second chance, but also our offenders,” Commissioner Timothy C. Ward said. “The horses benefit from the care they receive in this program, and the offenders are able to obtain hands-on experience to begin building a resume which will assist them with employment upon release.”

In 2008, the GDC and Georgia DOA entered into a partnership to begin the Equine Rescue program at LASP, after the Georgia DOA expressed a need for space for neglected and abused horses. The Georgia DOA rescues the horses and transports them to LASP for care and treatment.

The Georgia Equine Rescue League assists both organizations by providing supplies the horses may need to be successfully rehabilitated once they arrive to the facility. The horses are worked with on a daily basis by offenders in the program and once rehabilitated, are sold at auctions.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Mat Thompson, Equine Health Manager for the Georgia DOA said.

“The inmates work hard to give these horses a second chance at a head start which also gives the inmates a head-start on their second chance.”

The LASP Equine Program Participants receive valuable job skills and certificates from Central Georgia Technical College in Veterinary Assistance and Animal Healthcare, which they can use to obtain employment when they return to society. For more on this program, click here.

PhotoS And video by LORI BENOIT

By Lori Benoit |