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State prison offers pet boarding, grooming

The Washington Corrections Center for Women offers boarding, grooming, and training for dogs and cats.

Need a place to board your pet over the holidays? You can send them to prison.

“It’s a unique and different setting, but it really works for the animals,” said groomer and trainer Teresa Gaethe-Leonard, who is serving a 30-year sentence for murder.

She’s one of 18 women offenders working at the Prison Pet Partnership at the Washington Corrections Center for Women.

The facility offers boarding, grooming, and training for dogs and cats.

The money raised by services pays the salaries for the offenders and the staff of the non-profit, as well as funding efforts to rehabilitate rescued animals and train support dogs.

Angela Ferguson, another convicted murderer, has a dog living with her in her cell.

“It helps me get up everyday,” said Ferguson.

She makes $1.41 an hour caring for dogs. She hopes to make more money doing the same work when she finishes serving her 25-year sentence.

Ferguson thinks giving her a skill is better than just locking her up all day.

“Would you rather me not get any help and come into the community, and be your neighbor?” said Ferguson.

Rehabilitated dogs are also offered up for adoption through the PPP.