Dog in therapy program for prison inmates found dead

Dog from Prison Program Found Dead in Cell

LEBANON, Ohio — After a therapy dog was found dead in her crate, a nonprofit in Lebanon is ending its program for inmates at the Warren Correctional Institution.

The program allowed some inmates to interact with dogs.

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But one canine, a German shepherd named Evie, was recently found dead in the prison.

Katherine Hartung had been fostering Evie through Joseph's Legacy.

Evie had a tough life, "a broken hip, having surgery. Living on the streets ... She was a part of our family," said Hartung.

Hartung said her life has also changed since becoming Evie's foster.

"It's been more fulfilled. These dogs, I don't want to say you get a sense of gratification for yourself, but you feel like you've contributed, done something for these dogs," said Hartung.

She said the dog was a Houdini of sorts, jumping over fences and even unlocking doors. So she handed her over to the Warren Correctional Institution's therapy program.

"I thought the jail program would be a good alternative because I was concerned for her safety. Then, we come to know what happened next," said Hartung.

Evie was found dead earlier this week in her crate.

Joseph's Legacy president Meg Melampy said the necropsy came back and showed blunt force trauma.

"We only had the program for about a year. We've never had an issue. Nothing like this or we would've pulled them out," said Melampy.

Now, Melampy said they've ended the program and they're hopeful the correctional institution will go over its policies.

"I don't feel we did anything wrong, but if they can learn from it and just do more," said Melampy.

Joseph's Legacy said on Facebook it would file a lawsuit, but it didn't say when.

There's no response so far from the correctional institution or prosecutors.