Month: December 2016

New Leash On Life Trains Shelter Dogs Through Prison Pen Pals Program

New Leash On Life
New Leash On Life

Mekusukey Oil Company founder Duke Ligon established the Oklahoma City-based company in 1970 and possesses more than four decades of experience in the energy and oil industry. Duke Ligon also serves on the board of directors for Heritage Trust, which supports various community organizations such as New Leash On Life, which aids Oklahoma residents and their pets. Its programs include the Pen Pals Prison Program.

The program prepares shelter dogs for adoption through mutual beneficial training sessions with prison inmates, who provide the dogs with the necessary training to become well-mannered companions. Over the course of 10 weeks, participating inmates receive a dog to care for and train with the assistance of experienced New Leash On Life trainers. Dogs live in the cells with two inmates who share training responsibilities for house breaking, basic obedience, and correcting behavioral problems.

New Leash On Life trainers visit correctional facilities on a weekly basis to conduct dog-training classes and instruct inmates on training techniques and proper care. The organization also pays for all expenses involved in caring for the dogs, such as food, treats, veterinary care, and other supplies. A graduation occurs at the end of the 10 weeks, during which inmates will hand over the dog to its new owners and receive another dog to train.

In addition to helping shelter dogs who may otherwise have been euthanized, the program offers several benefits to inmates. Inmates who participate in the program receive an opportunity to contribute to the community and learn valuable skills of patience and tolerance. Training sessions also promote confidence and empathy, as inmates share emotions with the dogs they work with and develop new ways of relating to others.

Melvin Moran – Portrait of an Oklahoma Philanthropic Leader

Melvin Moran pic
Melvin Moran
Image: ohehs.org

Oklahoma City-based Duke Ligon is the head of Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC, and a board member of several other energy-focused companies. Outside of work, Duke Ligon supports numerous nonprofit art and cultural organizations and is a member of the board of directors of Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma, an organization that promotes learning through play.

The museum’s co-founder, Melvin Moran, is the subject of a 2010 biography published by the Oklahoma Heritage Association and promoted by the museum. Entitled Moving Heaven and Earth – The Life of Melvin Moran, the book details the life of a man who experienced the Great Depression as a child and later achieved prominence in the oil and gas industry.

Moran, a Seminole resident for most of his life, is the son of European Jewish immigrants. He served with the United States Air Force and met the woman who became his wife while stationed in London. Although Melvin and Jasmine Moran made central Oklahoma their home, their influence extends around the world.

The Morans were the major fundraising force behind the creation of one of the first museums in the country dedicated to the needs and interests of children. A quarter of a century after its creation, the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum continues to provide enriching experiences through its interactive replica of a functioning town, complete with opportunities for children to engage in pretend play as doctors, firefighters, government officials, and many other professions.