Operation New Hope


Operation New Hope (ONH) is a partnership program between the Chatham County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) and Chatham County Animal Services (CCAS) to support the rehabilitation of detainees while incarcerated. ONH gives unadoptable dogs in our community a second chance and helps rehabilitate inmates in the Chatham County Detention Center to lower the recidivism rate.

The dogs selected to work with detainees learn housetraining, crate training and basic obedience while helping inmates with relational skills. Compassion, care giving, attention, focus and attention to detail are just a few of the benefits gained from the inmates and dogs learning together. Inmates learn valuable responsibility and animal care skills through dog training. All dogs receive an AKC/CGC certificate awarded by the Operation New Hope facility dog trainer.

Dogs are housed in the ONH building. The facility was repurposed to programs when the CCSO K-9 Unit moved into their new building next door. Inmates work each day to care for and train the dogs. Upon successful completion of their session, each inmate earns their Kennel Technician Certification.

Dogs are adoptable on a first come, first serve basis. ONH encourages the public to schedule meet and greets with the dogs by contacting the Operation New Hope Director, Jennifer Messer jrmesser@chathamcounty.org or 912-644-9430. There are an average of ten dogs in the program available for adoption upon approval of application by Chatham County Animal Control. Please note Operation New Hope is not involved in the adoption application and decision making process for adoptions. For adoption application information visit their website: https://animalservices.chathamcountyga.gov/Services/Adoptions/

Operation New Hope is funded through private donations, not tax dollars. To learn more about the ONH program visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ONHSecondChance


Learn more about our Operation New Hope Program


Handlers, Trainees, and Graduates


Adoptable Dogs


Dogs who Found Their Forever Families