By Langley Cornwell
Puppies Behind Bars was featured on Oprah Winfrey several years ago and started making headlines. The organization caught my attention because 1) it’s about animals and 2) it highlights what the “love of a dog can do for your life.” All true animal lovers can attest to the truth of that statement, but Puppies Behind Bars is a wonderful illustration of just how true that statement really is.
Today, the organization continues to do wonderful work, bringing the love of a puppy into the lives of inmates who are taught how to train eight-week-old puppies to become service dogs for the disabled, including wounded veterans.
Most of these inmates have never known love or responsibility, with many having been told their entire life that they are worthless, and these precious puppies can teach them both. Not only is the offender’s life changed forever, but the life of someone who needs their assistance is also forever changed for the better.
Inmates who raise these puppies take part in an extraordinary effort that is often challenging but brings great rewards. The pups live in the cells with the inmates, who are designated as their primary raisers. They take their pups to classes to teach them basic obedience skills. The inmates are responsible for all of the puppies’ needs including feeding them nutritious dog food like CANIDAE.