Prison Training Programs Give Dogs and Inmates New Purpose

The prison world may not immediately seem to fit with the world of dog training. The emotions and preconceptions associated with each are often quite opposite. Yet different non-profits and penitentiaries across the United States are partnering to create an opportunity that will benefit everyone lucky enough to be involved.

And it’s not a new concept. In fact, the idea was first implemented in 1981 by Sister Pauline Quinn. Sister Pauline was a volunteer dog training herself. Knowing firsthand the transformative affects the positive experience had had in her own life inspired her to involve others. Since that first endeavor in 1981, the sister travelled all around the country implementing dog training programs in interested correctional facilities.

Prison Dog Program, Bridges And Pathways of Courage

Each program is different. Some focus on rehabilitating abused animals, while others train service dogs. Many of these dogs go on to assist people with autism and seizures, provide alerts for diabetes, and act as mobility and hearing dogs. Others have partnered with organizations that bring dogs and veterans together to help them cope with the physical, emotional, and mental scars of war. But each of these programs helps prepare a dog for their future.

The positive impact the prison dog programs have had on the inmates has also come to light. One example of the impact such programs can have on the life of inmates is evident at the medium-security Enfield Correctional Institution in Connecticut. Through a partnership with America’s VetDogs, the inmates help to train service dogs that go on to support military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Inmates who participate in the program have a recidivism rate below 25%; a dramatic decrease from the overall prison average of 85%.

Any pet owner knows that the love of their animal can change their life in innumerable and joyful ways. And for those who have service animals, they know the dramatic ways these animals can improve their quality of life. However, most of these animals rely on volunteers for their training. Those lucky enough to be paid for their efforts make an average of less than $11.00 per hour. This is just one more way that the prison dog program is making a positive impact.

The prison dog program not only gives inmates the opportunity for personal growth through their training efforts, but it gives them hope knowing that those efforts will go on to change a person’s life.

Next Article
  • 80 People Join Hands in Incredible Beach Rescue

    When Jessica and Derek Simmons headed to the local Panama City Beach on a sunny Saturday in July, they had no idea that they would be part of a daring rescue to save the lives of eight strangers by the time night had fallen. When a commotion began to...

    Read More
  • From Paralyzed to Paralympian Dreamer

    Josh Landmann was always a go-getter. The athletic Brit from Lancashire has always enjoyed physical challenges. In fact, Josh was an avid athlete playing rugby and hockey at quite high levels. He was a cricket player and a swimmer for his school team. But in 2014, Josh saw his life change forever. [caption id="attachment_1669" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • 60-Year Marriage Celebrated in Widower’s Museum of Love

    Museums are wonderful reminders of events, artwork, archeological displays and historical artifacts that have changed the course of countless lives around the globe. From the Louvre Museum in Paris, France to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., museums help us to remember, celebrate, and even discover those precious things that humanity shares. And that is...

    Read More
  • Moonshine the Horse Saves Michigan Pastor in Distress

    Moonshine is a rather unremarkable horse by traditional standards. The 15-year-old Appaloosa Gelding is something of an albino, with shockingly white features and fleshy patches around his nose and eyes. He is often mistaken for a mule, or called “ugly” by passersby. But Moonshine proved that there’s...

    Read More
  • The Coolest Gifts That Will Make a Difference This Summer

    The Summer of 2017 has been a little too hot to handle for millions of people in warmer territories of the United States. With temperatures in places like Arizona and Southern California reaching well into the hundreds, air conditioning has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity....

    Read More
  • One Woman’s Hobby is Proving that “Kindness Rocks”

    Painting on rocks and stones is a tried and true crafting past time that takes place all over the world. Some children paint their house numbers on rocks in art class so they can display them on their front porches. Others paint whimsical patterns or cute animals on the rocks to use as decorations for...

    Read More