SOUTH WEYMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A partnership between two local sheriff’s departments and a wildlife center is giving inmates a chance at a new life.
“This gives me hope.”
That was the message behind a graduation ceremony held at the New England Wildlife Center Friday where three female inmates from both Norfolk and Suffolk County received veterinary certifications.
Over the course of a six-week internship program intended specifically for prisoners, the women learned how to care for wild animals by taking part in feedings, administering medication, taking vitals and even helping with surgical procedures.
Vicki, one of the inmates who went through the program, said she learned “a lot” and wants to get a job working with animals once she gets paroled.
“There is something after jail,” she said. “I don’t have to get discouraged about not having a job.”
Norfolk County Sheriff Patrick McDermott and Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins were among the many people in a packed room celebrating the women’s achievements and future aspirations.
“I do plan on doing something with animals now,” said Amanda, another participant. “It’s opened my eyes to something brand new and I never thought it would.”
It is also safe to say that this program was emotionally stimulating for those involved.
“Animals are awesome,” Amanda added. “It’s soothing. It’s therapeutic is what it is.”
WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) was there: