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Giving Dogs and Inmates a New Leash on Life



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Jared Kerr was still in the process of launching his pet boarding business when he first heard about a new nonprofit that was launching in Philadelphia to bring homeless dogs into prisons to be trained by inmates.

Even though his plate was beyond full with opening his Philadelphia Pet Hotel and Villas, he knew that he wanted to help New Leash on Life.

“The impact they are making on both the prisoners and the dogs is profound, this program really does change lives,” Kerr said. “It’s been an amazing relationship.”

Kerr hosts fundraisers for New Leash—including a pool party this summer—and opens up his facility for dogs in the program and even boards those who don’t get adopted right away. The Pet Hotel also buys all the food for the dogs in the New Leash program from Hill’s.

“The impact they are making on both the prisoners and the dogs is profound, this program really does change lives"

New Leash might be unique in that not only are the dogs in the program trained to earn the AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate, but the prisoners also are helped to start a new life once they are paroled.

Kerr is co-founder and managing partner of Pet Hotel and Villas, which offers boarding, day care and grooming, and is expanding to be able to accommodate 250 dogs. He also supports several other pet-focused nonprofits, and he said he believes passionately in humane education and changing the ways people think about animals.

From the perspective of his business, Kerr said trust is a vitally important ingredient when people are entrusting their “babies” to him.

But also, he said, “It is important that our clients know that we are connected to the community.”

For more information, visit phillypethotel.com.

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