Internship Program Being Started At Dog Shelter

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An internship program is being set up at the Athens County Dog Shelter for developmentally disabled clients of PersonnelPlus, but there is potential for it to expand to other county departments.

Mark Cullison, adult services director for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, met with the county commissioners Thursday to seek permission to pursue an intership program at the dog shelter.

Cullison, who oversees the board’s job placement program, PersonnelPlus, told the commissioners it’s not unusual for clients to express an interest in working with animals when asked about their job interests. He said the internship program will allow PersonnelPlus to assess the clients’ abilities and allow the clients to see if working with animals is something they really want to do.

Also, Cullison said working at the shelter will give clients experience that could be helpful if an animal-related job becomes available in the community, for example at a pet store.

He said the internships could range from 10 to 40 hours, depending on whether a client has other job interests to explore. Cullison said that in the future there might be other county departments that would be a good fit for PersonnelPlus clients.

Although he approached the commissioners about the dog shelter, they gave Cullison permission to explore the possibility of setting up internships at other county departments under their jurisdiction.

Commission President Lenny Eliason told Cullison that he would have to approach other county elected officials if he wanted to consider internships in their departments.