Paulo Salazar

About Paulo Salazar

Paulo comes to us from San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 2007 and loves his MSU Bulldogs. Paulo has been with WCBI News over four years and curerently serves as the Weekend Anchor and weekly reporter. To contact him feel free to email him at paulosalazar@wcbi.com or follow him on twitter @paulosalazar34.

Video: Assistance Dog Program

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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Close to four million cats and dogs are euthanized every year in the United States. Recently a special partnership was made In Monroe County to help provide a home for some of those animals.

The overpopulation of companion animals is widely acknowledged across the country by professionals and experts in the animal welfare field. It’s a growing problem keeping Animal shelters full and animal control officers busy. The Monroe County Board of Supervisors approved an initiative for the sheriff department to facilitate a partnership between the Aberdeen and Amory Animal Shelter and the Mississippi Bar Associations Young Lawyers Division.

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell says, “These are programs that happen out in California and different places that have been very successful in rehabilitation of the inmate and also it turns out to help the citizens of Monroe County.”

The program initiative will seek out dogs who qualify for the training. By using professional dog trainers to teach the inmates how to train the dogs, the program will incur very little cost. Once trained they will be used to help the physically disabled and others with different impairments.

With the pet population continuing to grow out of control, the assistance program is hoping to utilize some of the animals at the Aberdeen shelter and the Amory shelter to provide them a happy home.

Cantrell says, “What we’re going to try and do is train those dogs for the blind and also people that are impaired.”

The training can take up to 10 months and can come at a price tag of $15,000 or more for a trained dog.

According to Aberdeen Humane Society volunteer Dianna Stargel, “It gives them companionship. It’s somebody who loves them unconditionally. The elderly truly sometimes don’t have anybody.”

With the assistance program just kicking off Sheriff Cantrell says, it could take up to 40 days before dogs begin training