It's been eight weeks since Rico, a tri-colored Chihuahua arrived at the Green River Correctional Complex for the Death Row Dogs training program. Now his handlers are preparing to give him up.
John Smithers says: "It's going to be difficult. That's one thing you have to try to prepare yourself for. You can't fully prepare for it. But you have to try. And as long as you understand he goes to a good family, then that helps a lot."
Meanwhile, 60 miles away, George and Diane Sutton are waiting to adopt Rico. The retired couple lost their beloved dog Woo Woo in January.
Diane says: "We had her since she was three and we had her nine years."
George says: "We were not ready to adopt another dog. But only a couple weeks later we decided we just couldn't. We needed a dog."
That's when the couple's daughter e-mailed them a picture of Rico. Diane and George next talked with the director of the humane society about Rico. She urged them to go visit him. They did and now they are anxiously awaiting his arrival.
Diane says: "George brought me a book home from the library on owning a Chihuahua and I wrote down all the stuff."
George says: "When he gets out on parole, we'll be happy to have him."
Back in the prison John is reflecting on how much the Death Row Dogs program has taught him.
John says: "Caring a lot more. Before, kinda you learn not to care about anything. It's like you teach yourself not to care. And once you see these little guys you just can't help it. Your heart melts for them."
John says even though he's in prison he's gained a great since of accomplishment by training Rico.
John says: "There's not much I've done good in my life. And now I see what it's like to make a change and do something good and it feels great."
The Death Row Dogs graduation is March 16 at the Green River Correctional Complex. There are still some dogs looking for homes.
If you are interested in adopting one of the Death Row Dogs call the Muhlenberg County Humane Society at (270)338-6940.