Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) is one of the most innovative programs I have ever come across. Prison inmates actually help train guide dogs for the disabled and to work as explosive detectors for law enforcement. The puppies are raised by the inmates in their cells for several months. They also attend classes with their charges. The inmates have the time to lavish the attention these dogs need to socialize with people and learn basic obedience skills before moving on to professional training.
For the inmates, it is a second chance at life and to give back to society when they are entrusted with a puppy. They learn patience, responsibility, how to work as a team and how to give and receive unconditional love. For many, it is the first positive achievement in their lives. The program changes the lives of trainees. Some of their comments from the website video include "I have learnt to give" and "The dog has helped me to become compassionate".
The program began with just five puppies in a New York maximum security prison for women and is now involved in seven correctional facilities, raising 100 puppies. Dog graduates of the program have gone on to work in every state in the US and in 13 countries abroad.
Visit the PBB website and learn more about this worthy cause and how you can help to continue their work. All the proceeds from their online shop go to their program.