'A new leash on life': Alaqua's Unconditional Love Projects gives unwanted pets a new purpose


Even though she is extremely camera shy, Nicole, is friendly with everyone she meets. "She's fantastic," said Jessica Jones

Jennie McKeon | The Sun
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 02:49 PM.

  Visiting Alaqua Animal Refuge with her niece this past June, Jessica Jones thought she might have taken home a puppy she saw online, but as fate would have it, she met Nicole.

"My niece was filling out a volunteer application and I was walking around," Jones recalls.

Then she saw, Nicole, a young yellow Labrador. Noticing her interest, an Alaqua worker brought Nicole to meet Jones.

"They're great about matching people with pets," Jones said. "I am so in love with her."

Of course every owner believes his or her pet is special, but in Nicole's case it is true in every sense of the word since she was brought to Alaqua through the Unconditional Love Project, which rescues unwanted dogs from neglect and abuse and tasks inmates with training them to be used as therapy dogs.

Not every dog graduates from the program, which is OK. They then become wonderful pets to those looking to open their hearts and homes to a rescue animal.

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