VENUS, Texas – If one can gauge happiness by expression, Aug. 19 was a huge success.

The occasion was the graduation of nine rescue dogs from the training program at the MTC Sanders Estes Unit Correctional Center in Venus, Texas. Thirty offenders worked with the dogs for three months, not only training them but bringing back trust in humanity after the canines’ auspicious beginnings.

“The trust in humanity extended to the offenders as well,” a spokesman said.

In a ceremony that included families of the offenders and friends of the program, touching words were spoken by those affiliated with the program, including program director Christine Hogan. Each offender who participated was presented with a certificate of acknowledgement.

“The dog’s accomplishments were demonstrated with love and pride by the trainers and it was with emotion and tears that the offenders said good-bye to their beloved companions,” the spokesman said.

With their graduation, these dogs are available for adoption. Another group of dogs will enter the program soon and will be available for Christmas adoptions. To see the dogs available now, visit www.campdiggybones.com or call 214-298-7562.

The nine dogs were the first group of rescue dogs to come from Happy Endings Dog Rescue and Camp Diggy Bones, which works together to rescue and train canines so they can be placed in forever homes.

“The training program was a huge success and it looks like the relationships between the correctional facility, Happy Endings Dog Rescue and Camp Diggy Bones will be a long one,” the spokesman said.