MALONE — Inmates from vocational classes at Bare Hill Correctional Facility made a much-appreciated donation to the North Country Animal Shelter this week.
One by one, a forklift delivered 14 of the dog houses the inmates built to replace the rundown structures that had been used at the shelter for years.
If the work teams hadn’t run out of some materials they need, the inmates would have finished all 20 of the new homes they intend to build, said Leonard St. Hilaire, one of the vocational instructors who taught the inmates about the tools and building skills needed for the project.
Vocational Supervisor Paul Tishman said Shelter Manager Shirley Morton contacted the facility earlier in the year, asking if anything could be done to replace the worn-out dog houses for the animals that spend the winter outdoors.
Construction materials were donated from Ward Lumber and Home Depot and included plywood, lumber, shingles and insulation.
“We took photographs of the dog houses they’d be replacing and hung them up in the shop for inspiration,” Tishman said. “The inmates get credit for the work they do on the houses as part of their vocational training.”
St. Hilaire said he had to turn some inmates away from volunteering because so many were excited and proud to be part of the project.
Morton is beside herself with joy over the whole thing because so many animals will finally have decent housing.
The dog houses come in three sizes: beagle size, which is 3 feet by 3 feet; medium size, which measure 4 feet by 4 feet; and St. Bernard size, which are 5 feet by 5 feet.
Each is made of heavy plywood and has rafters and a partition that divides the house in half.
The dog enters the doorway, walks toward the back, turns and enters a separate space protected from the elements by the partition.
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