Homeless Shepherd Finds Home and Job
02/28/2012
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Jerry Lee, a homeless dog just a few weeks ago, now has a home — and, potentially, a job.

The one-year-old German shepherd was found on the streets by a mailman, and ended up at the Baltimore Humane Society. Now he's on his way to being a drug sniffing dog with the Maryland Division of Correction Canine Unit.

Shortly after Jerry Lee arrived at the Humane Society, Berno Combs, the animal care director, noticed he had all the qualities that the Correction Unit's Canine Division looks for in recruits — he was calm, confident, steady when suddenly approached and willing to do almost anything in exchange for a ball.

Combs called the division to see if they wanted to come from Hagerstown to check him out. The prison system officially adopted him Feb. 23.

Jerry Lee still has to qualify for the job. He'll be matched with a handler and enter a ten week Narcotic Detection Dog Academy.

Captain Mark Flynn says the Correction Canine Unit has adopted many dogs from shelters who are still in service today.

“We like to take our dogs from shelters. First, it saves lives. Second, it saves the state a lot of money. It cost us thousands of dollars to buy one dog from a breeder. A Labrador, for instance, can cost between $1,500 to $3,000 – and that's untrained. If the dog is pre-trained by a breeder it can cost the state $6000.”

Upon graduation Jerry Lee will either be a patrol dog or a drug sniffer, the Humane Society said