By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) – From delinquent boys to pets in need of a place to live, a local organization wants to transform an old jail into a rehab facility for animals.

“We would like to focus on dogs that need rehab or behavioral work,” said Delyse Gannaway who is on a mission to help save dogs.

She said animals with behavior issues are often overlooked by those people wanting to adopt.

“They’re the dogs that are shaking the kennels, jumping at the bars when really they just want to get out because they’re stressed,” she said. “That is not a good look for adopters as a family dog.”

Some risk euthanasia when shelters like Bradshaw run out of space.

“We are almost always running at above capacity actually. We have kennels for 132 dogs, right now we are at 180-plus dogs,” Gannaway said who also works at that shelter.

So now she’s seeking to open a new shelter for these dogs at the shuttered Sacramento County Boys Ranch, a 140-acre jail that once housed juvenile offenders behind barbed wire fences.

The facility, in eastern Sacramento County, was closed in 2010 and has been vacant ever since which costs the county nearly $450,000 every year to maintain it. The rent from the shelter will help offset the expense.

“We want to take on these behavioral dogs who need more time, more work to adjust based on what their needs are and this facility will be able to meet those dogs need,” she said.

Gannaway’s initial goal is to place 65 dog kennels in the old dormitories and eventually expand capacity to accommodate more 150.

“We want to start out small with dogs and every year we want to grow and be able to add species onto the property,” she said hoping to expand to cats and maybe even livestock.

County board of supervisors will vote Tuesday morning to either adopt the new plan or whether to continue to search for another solution.

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