Pulaski State Prison program helps sick horses, inmates

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A program helps inmates become veterinary assistants.

HAWKINSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Middle Georgia prison is offering inmates a chance to earn college credits by learning to nurse abandoned and neglected horses back to health.

The ladies in the Equine Rescue Program at Pulaski State Prison are helping these horses get a second chance at life.

“You see them get stronger,” inmate Season James said. “You see them get healthier. It’s like watching a child grow and they’re stronger, healthier, they run. Knowing you had a part in that, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

For admission into the program, the ladies must study toward a veterinary certificate while in jail. They also take classes in computer business and technology.

“We come out here every morning,” James said. “We start off by cleaning up their area and make sure they’re clean. And we just take care of them because when they come in, it’s sad.”

The inmates say that the program not only gives the horses a new life but the participants as well.

“It lets me focus on something besides my time and give back to the community,” inmate Melissa Turner said.

Correctional Officer Virginia Gibson says the program even helped change her life.

“I had stuff happen to me in my life,” Gibson said. “I ended up in this program, I use to wonder why. But now I see why because you help rehabilitate sick horses. Taking care of these horses is good.”

The horses are sold to good owners once they’re healthy. The proceeds toward the program.