14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33912, USA
911 (Emergency)
239-477-1000 (Non Emergency)

Cell Dog Program

All Cell Dogs are unwanted rescues from Lee County Domestic Animal Services. We select these dogs, sometimes nurse them back to health, and build their trust and confidence while we train them. We become quite attached to these dogs in the months we work with them, and so do the inmate handlers. We want the best-matched home for these animals for the rest of their lives.

All Cell Dogs are available for an adoption fee through Lee County Domestic Animal Services. In addition to the 8 to 12 weeks of training each dog has received, the adoption fee includes:

– Spay or neuter surgery
– All vaccinations appropriate for the dog’s age, including rabies
– Worming treatment
– Flea treatment
– Heartworm test
– Lee County pet license
– AVID Microchip ID

Please note that you cannot pick your dog from pictures on this website. You need to go to the Lee County Domestic Animal Services.


Captain Thomas Weaver (Retired 09/2007) implemented the Cell Dog program after watching a television show about dog programs with inmates. A few months later six dogs entered the program on October 4, 2004. Since then we have trained and found over 600 dogs forever homes.

In 2018 Deputies Dunn and Hawkins attended Animal Behavior College and obtained their Dog training certifications. Both Deputies Dunn and Hawkins provide training to the inmates involved in the program and oversee the daily operations within the program.

The dog training program teaches inmates how to train dogs in basic obedience through a 10-week course. Upon graduation, the dogs are highly adoptable and possess obedience skills such as Crate trained, House trained, Loose leash walking, Sit, lay down, Stay, come when called and heel. Not only does the Cell Dog Program give a second chance to these second chance animals, it also provides job skills to inmates in the areas of dog training, dog grooming and veterinary assistant skills.

Program Benefits


– Participants learn to redirect their focus from themselves to care for another
– They learn a valuable, marketable job skill
– There is satisfaction as they volunteer their time to save an animal’s life
– It allows the opportunity to return something positive to the community – a healthy, well socialized and well adjusted pet
– There is a sense of accomplishment and pride when the dog successfully graduates


– Adds a successful and popular vocational program
– Improves inmate cooperation
– Inmates are more compliant with fewer violations
– Promotes an institutional environment of less tension and violence while improving communication between staff and inmates


– Lowers rate of euthanasia in Lee County’s animal shelters
– Lowers recidivism and cost to “tax payer”
– Lowers cost for animal control
– Provides well trained dogs for adoption
– Provides more productive members of society
– To learn more about the adoption process, contact Lee County Domestic Animal Services 239-533-7387


Donations are always welcomed; they help to provide additional lifesaving services and community outreach. All donations are tax deductible.

The goal of the program is to pair dogs on “death row” that would be difficult to adopt with carefully screened inmates at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Community Programs Unit located at 2501-04 Ortiz Avenue Fort Myers, FL 33905. The inmates are instructed to train the dogs during weekly sessions in basic obedience skills; resulting in a trained, socialized, more adoptable pet. The dogs are adopted by deserving owners who are also carefully screened and selected. Wishing to adopt a LCSO cell dog you must submit an adoption application to GULF COAST HUMANE SOCIETY and get approval prior to visiting with the dogs

Donors can mail Donations to:
Attn: Lt. Isidro Lopez Cell Dog Program
14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway
Fort Myers, Florida 33912-4406

Make checks payable to: Lee County Sheriff’s Office Cell Dog Program or LCSO Cell Dog Program.

Cell Dogs for Adoption INKJET

Applications for adoptions can be completed at:


or if you have any question about the dogs you can contact Lt. Isidro Lopez at 239-258-3677