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Lee Arrendale State Prison Hosts Equine Auction

Timothy C. Ward
Director of Public Affairs: 
Joan Heath
Contact Name: 
Lori Benoit
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March 20, 2019

Lee Arrendale State Prison Hosts Equine Auction

GDC Partners with Department of Agriculture

FORSYTH, Ga. —  On March 16, the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Agriculture (DOA), hosted an Equine Auction at the Lee Arrendale State Prison (LASP) Equine Center in Alto, Georgia, as part of a partnership to rescue and rehabilitate abused or neglected horses.  More than $2,000 was raised during the auction, and will be used to aide in the rehabilitation of horses which have been taken in by Georgia DOA. 

“We appreciate our partnership with the Georgia Department of Agriculture on a program that not only gives the horses a second chance, but also our offenders.” said Commissioner Timothy C. Ward. “The horses benefit from the care they receive in this program, and the offenders are able to obtain hands-on experience to begin building a resume which will assist them with employment upon release.”

In 2008, the GDC and Georgia DOA entered into a partnership to begin the Equine Rescue program at LASP, after the Georgia DOA expressed a need for space for neglected and abused horses. The Georgia DOA rescues the horses and transports them to LASP for care and treatment.  The Georgia Equine Rescue League assists both organizations by providing supplies the horses may need to be successfully rehabilitated once they arrive to the facility.  The horses are worked with on a daily basis by offenders in the program and once rehabilitated, are sold at auctions. 

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Mat Thompson, Equine Health Manager for the Georgia DOA.  “The inmates work hard to give these horses a second chance at a head start which also gives the inmates a head-start on their second chance.”

The LASP Equine Program Participants receive valuable job skills and certificates from Central Georgia Technical College in Veterinary Assistance and Animal Healthcare, which they can use to obtain employment when they return to society.


About the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) has one of the largest prison systems in the U.S. and is responsible for supervising nearly 52,000 state prisoners. It is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with approximately 10,500 employees. For more information on the GDC, call 478-992-5247 or visit


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