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A New Leash on Life (NLOL) is a N.C. State prison dog-training program, where both dogs and inmate-trainers get a second chance. At the Forsyth Correctional Center in Winston-Salem, our dogs work with qualifying inmate-trainers for 10 weeks, learning manners and obedience, house and crate training, and basic agility. The dogs are with the men 14 hours a day, and sleep in their comfy kennels in the NLOL building on the prison grounds. After 10 weeks, there’s a festive “graduation” and the dogs go to their forever homes.


Volunteer experts from the Winston-Salem Dog Training Club donate their time and expertise to work with the men and the dogs twice a week. Other volunteers work with the men on daily journals and handle home visits, adoptions and other tasks.

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Changing Men's Lives One Dog At a Time

Dogs can reach the human heart in amazing ways. Both men and dogs experience unconditional love, often for the first time in their lives. Both gain self-confidence and self-control, and learn the value of persistence, patience, and praise.

U.S. State Prison recidivism statistics are discouraging: Nationally, they range from 20 to 65% (World Populations Review); in N.C., between 40-45% (N.C. Justice Center);


Our NLOL program at Forsyth Correctional Center, since its beginning in 2009, thus far has a recidivism rate of 0%. Zero

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Why Adopt a NLOL Dog?

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  • Every year, nearly 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in the U. S. You’re helping save a dog and lower that number.

  • You stop mass breeding facilities (puppy mills) when you don’t go to a breeder for a dog and, instead, support rescue organizations. Mixed breeds are well-rounded, wonderful family pets.

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  • You save a life by making room for one more animal to be rescued.

  • All NLOL dogs are microchipped, vaccinated, spay/neutered, and have 10 weeks of obedience training, house- and crate-training, good socialization, and some agility training.

  • You’re supporting not only animal welfare but also social justice: This program changes lives! Statistics show that the men who successfully complete this program rarely go back to prison. It greatly lowers recidivism rates.

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“Who wouldn’t want a NLOL dog? Our girl Callie came fully trained with perfect recall. We couldn’t ask for a better dog.”   A.T & D.G.


  • Spay/Neuter

  • Rabies Vaccine

  • Distemper/Parvo/Bordetella Vaccines

  • Deworming and flea treatment as needed

  • Heartworm test (and treatment as needed)

  • One month of heartworm prevention 

  • Microchip

  • Examination by a licensed veterinarian 

  • 10 weeks of training!

Here are pictures of our NEW dogs
who arrived in October. We love them already! 

Click pictures for more info!

How it works

In A Nutshell:

Fill out an adoption application and get it to us.

An adoption counselor will contact you to discuss your interest. If it seems a good fit, you can meet the dog and the trainer at the prison before making your final decision. When the dog completes his or her ten-week session, it’s adoption time!

  • When your application has been approved and your references have been checked, we setup a home visit. 

  • When that’s completed and everyone decides this is a good fit, we’ll schedule a time for you to come to the prison and meet the dog that’s caught your eye. You’ll get to spend around 45 minutes with the dog, its trainer, a prison staff member, and a PAWAlliance representative. You can interact, ask questions, and really get to know the dog. If you have another dog, we’ll ask you to bring him/her along, so we can see how they might interact.

  • If you decide that “yes, this is the dog!” we’ll ask for your commitment, and we’ll take your pup off the available list and label her/him “Adoption Pending.”

  • When your dog’s 10 weeks of training are completed, you’ll come to our graduation ceremony, enjoy a casual, quick meal with trainers, prison staff, and PAWAlliance volunteers. You’ll again have a chance to ask the trainers and instructors any questions, and at that time, you’ll receive the available vet records, finish the paperwork, pay the adoption fee and get the inmate-trainer’s daily journal that describes the 10 weeks of care and training your dog has received. This journal is a wonderful resource!

Our next adoption fair is 12/3 from 11-1:00 at Petsupermarket-Thruway.

Come meet our dogs and their trainers!!

Check us out on social media for frequent updates.

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