A Canadian women’s prison will soon be offering its inmates a new vocational training course: dog grooming.
The inmates, who are serving time at the Edmonton Institution for Women, will be able to take the 12- to 16-week course and, upon its completion, would be certified as professional pet stylists, the National Post reports. The biggest challenge facing the would-be groomers is finding enough dogs to cut, clip and style. Well, that, and their ability to use scissors and other sharp items.
The program was designed by the Alberta School of Dog Grooming, and the goal of the course will be to turn the inmates who participate into full-time, entry-level finishing groomers. Each student will be required to groom 100 to 150 dogs in order to be certified by the Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, a federally registered certification association. That means, as the National Post quipped, the prison’s own guard and sniffer dogs will be “among the most meticulously groomed in the Canadian corrections system.” The other dogs who will get a free haircut or two will be provided by prison employees, local shelters and humane societies and service dog trainers.
“There will be approximately 500 dogs groomed in that period,” Lyn Cardus of the Alberta School of Dog Grooming told the Post.
The prison does house both minimum and maximum-security inmates, so security is the main concern for all of those involved.
“It sounds silly, but of course we have to use scissors and sharp implements,” Cardus said.
The prison says that the first five students who are accepted into the program will be screened to ensure they neither are not a threat nor have violent tendencies.
But the skills the women learn in the course will help them when they’re released, perhaps giving them a better chance of finding work and starting a new life. What’s not to like about that?