The Cape Coral Animal Shelter (CCAS) has announced that it will be partnering with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) to enroll select dogs in the Cell Dog Program.  This important program gives shelter dogs a second chance and Lee County inmates the opportunity to learn from each other to create better lives for all involved. These dogs find a forever home along with learning basic obedience skills and Lee County inmates gain an educational program to better themselves

All dogs go through basic obedience training—sit and stay, housebreaking, crate training, leash-walking—all skills that will prepare them for adoption.  Deputy First Class Scott Dunn and Deputy First Class Howard Hawkins, Cell Dog Program Coordinators, have been involved with the program since 2010.  Both Deputies are certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluators, certified Dog Trainers through the Animal Behavioral College, and Canine Good Citizen Dog Safety Instructors.

The Animal Shelter opened its doors on March 19th and has since done over 400 adoptions. 

“CCAS is excited to participate in this very important program.  We believe all the animals entering our shelter deserve a second chance at a happy life.  Some of these dogs have been through so much in their young lives.  Finding structure, receiving human interaction, training, and unconditional love—it makes all the difference as they find their forever family and go home!” said JoAnn Elardo, President of the Cape Coral Animal Shelter Board of Directors. 

In May, a dog named Bouncer arrived at CCAS.  Bouncer was found as a puppy alongside a road in DeSoto County, left in a bag to suffocate.  He was rescued by a DeSoto County Sheriff and held for months as part of a criminal investigation. 

According to Liz McCauley, Executive Director, “By the time he came to us at nine months old, he was a puppy in a very big, strong body.  He had no training but the sweetest personality.  He was a handful!”  Fortunately, he has spent the last few months in the Cell Dog training program and has made great progress.  He requires a very specific home, but with the guidance of his trainers and CCAS, he is ready for parole. 

Today Amos and Sam are “going to jail” to hone their skills and help them get adopted.  All dogs in the cell dog program will be available for adoption to qualified homes at any time. 

You can find all adoptable animals on the CCAS website at


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