New Leash on Life

A New Leash On Life

Since 2006 we have partnered with Mountain View Correctional Institute in a program called "A New Leash on Life." This program allows eight inmates to train four of our dogs in basic obedience. The dogs spend ten weeks in training at the correctional facility. The program makes our animals more adoptable, preparing them for their forever homes, and has changed the lives of all the inmates involved.


Humane Society Dogs Go Home with AKC Registrations

Through New Program

 The Avery County Humane Society has joined forces with the American Kennel Club to provide more training and opportunities for the community’s homeless dogs.

 Now all dogs that graduate from the New Leash on Life program will go to their new homes with a registration in the AKC Canine Partners program. The Canine Partners program enables mixed-breeds and purebreds “without papers” to enjoy AKC benefits and compete in AKC events, including agility and rally trials.

The registrations include other benefits of value to all dog owners, including 60 days of free pet health insurance and a one-year subscription to the AKC Family Dog magazine that includes tips on training, grooming and health care.

Owners receive a registration certificate from AKC, suitable for framing, which includes the dog’s name and individual AKC number.

 “This is a great opportunity for the new owners of our dogs to receive valuable resources from the AKC to help them care for and train their dogs,” said Charlene Calhoun, shelter manager. “It also gives our owners and dogs access to all the events and programs that the AKC offers.”

 Avery County Humane Society works in conjunction with the Mountain View Correctional Institute in Spruce Pine on the New Leash on Life program that benefits both the shelter’s dogs and the prison’s inmates. Shelter dogs live with inmates, who are selected as trainers, for several weeks. Professional dog trainers conduct classes at the prison and advise the inmates on the dogs’ behavioral and training needs.

 The socialization and training prepare the dogs for life with their new families, and that increases their adoptability. “Having basic training and socialization will make these dogs’ transition into their new homes much smoother for both them and their new families,” Calhoun said. New Leash on Life also benefits the inmates who learn responsibility and dog care skills that may help them find future employment in the animal care field.

 The AKC looks forward to a long relationship with the Avery Humane Society and New Leash on Life, which is a program of the NC Department of Corrections. “We are delighted to work with such a dedicated group of people who work so diligently to find good homes for these deserving dogs,” said Mark Dunn, Assistant Vice President of AKC Canine Partners.

 The American Kennel Club Inc.  is the oldest dog registry in the country, having been founded in 1884. The not-for-profit organization not only registers dogs and governs dog shows, it works to improve the health and welfare of all dogs though the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the AKC Companion Animal Recovery service, disaster relief and more.

For more information on adopting a dog, contact the Avery Humane Society at 828-733-2333 or For more information on AKC Canine Partners, contact or call 919-816-3749.


Judy and Ron Rowland and Mr. Vaughn

Judy and Ron Rowand were the initial trainers for the New Leash on Life Program. Judy has been a professional trainer for 40 yrs.Judy helped get the flagship program started in Marion and Black Mt units. Ron and Judy are happy to be helping with the program at Mt. View Correctional facility.

Leash on Life



 Group currenly in training:


From Left to Right: Ox, Celia, Gypsy, and Honey

Available Dogs in Training

 Dojo and Trainers



9 Months Old
Spayed Female
Terrier Mix

Gypsy is currently enrolled in the New Leash on Life basic obedience training program.






7 Months Old
Spayed Female
Boxer Mix

Honey was transferred in from another shelter for adoption. Honey smiles" when she gets excited and is the most loving little girl there is. She loves other dogs. Honey is currently enrolled in our New Leash on Life basic obedience training program.




1 Year Old
Spayed Female
Hound Mix

Celia is currently enrolled in our New Leash on Life basic obedience training program. "Celia is a very loving dog. She's smart and full of energy and is very good with playing with other dogs. Even the small ones. She's a curious girl always watching to see what people are up to." Dog Trainer


animals/Roscoe and Trainers.jpg


2 Years Old
Neutered Male
Lab Mix

Ox was transferred into our shelter from another shelter. He is so playful and friendly. Ox does great on car rides and loves people. He loves squeaky toys and is very gentle with them. Ox is currently enrolled in our New Leash on Life basic obedience training program. "Ox is a very energetic dog who is all about playtime! He really really loves balls and is loving. He is very smart and catches on fast. He can shake hands, give hi five, roll over and say my prayers already and I am only two weeks into training." Dog Trainer






1 Years old
Spayed Female
Hound Mix

Paige was found stray and brought in for adoption. Paige just graduated from the New Leash on Life basic obedience training program. Paige is such a super sweet girl. She has learned quickly and is great with other dogs. She deserves a loving home to go to.




3 Years old
Spayed Female
Shar Pei Mix

We can't say enough good things about Eve! She has quickly found her way into the hearts of the staff and volunteers here. She has the softest fur with the most unusual swirls of white in it. Eve gets along with other dogs, listens well, and loves to dance! She should not be in a home with cats. Eve has graduated from our New Leash on Life basic obedience training program.


Gypsy Listens   Honey Training

Ox taking a break